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May 13, 2003

Purdue's Eugene Spafford selected to advise U.S. President

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Eugene Spafford, director of Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, has been selected to be a member of a committee that will advise President George W. Bush on information technology matters.

Eugene Spafford

Spafford, also a professor of computer science in Purdue’s School of Science, will join 24 other appointees from across the country on the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), which is composed of information technology experts from industry and academia. PITAC was established by executive order in 1997.

Spafford said that he was pleased with his appointment and looks forward to assisting the administration make strides toward a more secure national computer infrastructure.

"Some of our nation’s greatest vulnerabilities today are in its computer networks," he said. "It is imperative that our national leaders understand the potential threat to our country from misuse of computer systems and take necessary steps to avert such threats. As a PITAC member, I hope to contribute positively to the president’s decision-making process."

According to a White House press release, PITAC will provide the president with expert, independent advice on maintaining America's preeminence in advanced-information technologies, including elements of the national information-technology infrastructure, such as high-performance computing, large-scale networking, and high-assurance software and systems design. PITAC members are appointed for a two-year term, which will begin on June 1.

U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, House Science Committee chairman, said the appointments come at a critical time in the nation’s quest for cybersecurity and that Spafford’s presence would be especially welcome.

"These new PITAC members are some of the best scientific, engineering and business minds in the country, and I believe their collective knowledge and experience will be enormously beneficial to the president and to the nation," he said. "I am especially pleased with the appointments of Columbia University's Eli Noam and Judith Klavans and Purdue University's Gene Spafford. I look forward to working with the PITAC members and with the administration on some of the most challenging issues facing our nation."

Spafford has a long history of national service in addition to his research and educational activities at Purdue. He has served as an adviser and as a member of several professional and government boards, including the Computing Research Association, the ACM Public Policy Committee, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the US Air Force.

Spafford said PITAC also can support economic development and research, which are important national issues.

Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) is a multidisciplinary research and education center in areas of information security, privacy and assurance. The center works with partners from industry and government to develop and conduct research and education programs.

CERIAS offers programs at a number of levels of security and assurance education, including graduate, undergraduate, K-12, professional development, certification programs, workshops and seminars.

Writer: Chad Boutin, (765) 494-2081, cboutin@purdue.edu

Source: Eugene Spafford, (765) 494-7825, spaf@cerias.purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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