Howard A. Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity adviser, dies at 67


Eugene Kaspersky (R), CEO of Kaspersky Lab, and Howard Schmidt, former White House Cyber Security Coordinator, speak at the 2013 Government Cyersecurity Forum in Washington,DC on June 4, 2013. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The chief cybersecurity adviser to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Howard A. Schmidt, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

Schmidt served as the first White House Cybersecurity Coordinator from 2009 to 2012, a position created by the Obama administration. Previously, he had served as the cybersecurity adviser to George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003.

Schmidt had more than three decades of public service as a security expert when he left the Bush White House in 2003. His service included military service with the U.S. Air Force and later serving as an Army Reserve Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division’s Computer Crime Unit.

In the private sector, Schmidt served as president and CEO of the Information Security Forum, executive director of SAFECode, and was a partner in Ridge-Schmidt Cyber. He also held top security posts at Microsoft and eBay.

Schmidt was known for his efforts to bridge cybersecurity efforts of the public and private sectors. He believed firmly in sharing cyberattack and threat intelligence with the private sector.

During Schmidt’s tenure with the Obama administration, the White House launched the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. Schmidt also oversaw the establishment of an international cyberstrategy on how the government would respond and defend against cyberattacks from adversaries.

Schmidt died at his home in Muskego, Wisconsin on Thursday, March 2. He was 67 years old.