Napolitano Swears in Hacker on Homeland Security Advisory Council

By Matthew Harwood

One of the 16 homeland security advisors sworn in by homeland security chief Janet Napolitano on Friday is a world-renowned hacker, reports CNET

Jeff Moss, the creator of the Black Hat and Defcon hacker and security conferences who also worked in information security for Ernst and Young, made for an unorthodox choice for the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), which taps homeland security experts from state, local, and tribal governments; the private sector; and academia to give advice and recommendations to the Department of Homeland Security.

According to CNET

Moss's background as a computer hacker (known as 'Dark Tangent') and role as a luminary among young hackers who flock to Defcon in Las Vegas every summer might seem to make him an unusual choice to swear allegiance to the government ....

In an interview late on Friday, Moss said he was surprised when he got the call and was asked to join the group. "I know there is a newfound emphasis on cybersecurity and they're looking to diversify the members and to have alternative viewpoints," he said. "I think they needed a skeptical outsider's view because that has been missing."

On the same day, Napolitano also announced the creation of the 20-member HSAC Southwest Border Task Force, which will provide recommendations for securing the U.S. border with Mexico.

Here also is the full 25-member HSAC roster, according to a DHS press release, of which 16 were sworn in on Friday.

William “Bill” Webster (Chair) is a retired partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP. Judge Webster previously served as Director of both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Gary Hart (Vice Chair) is Chairman of the American Security Project. The former senator from Colorado served on the Hart-Rudman Commission and is an advisory board member for the Partnership for a Secure America.

Norman “Norm” Augustine is a retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. Augustine served as chairman and principal officer of the American Red Cross. He was a member of the Hart-Rudman Commission and has been honored five times with the Department of Defense’s highest civilian decoration, the Distinguished Service Medal.  

Leroy “Lee” Baca is Sheriff of Los Angeles County. He serves on the boards of directors for the Optimist Youth Homes and Ranch, Puente Learning Center, Buena Nueva Foundation, EMEK Hebrew Academy, and Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, and as well as the University of Southern California Alumni Association board of governors. 

Richard “Dick” Cañas is Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Cañas has served as Director of the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), Special Assistant to the CIA’s Latin American section, and on the White House’s National Security Council (NSC).

Kenneth “Chuck” Canterbury is National President of the Fraternal Order of Police. Prior to his service as President, Canterbury spent 25 years with the Horry County Police Department of Conway, S.C. 

Jared “Jerry” Cohon is President of Carnegie Mellon University. Cohon served as a Legislative Assistant for energy and the environment for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.

Ruth David is President and CEO of ANSER. Previously, David served as CIA Deputy Director for Science and Technology and represented the CIA on numerous national committees and advisory bodies, including the National Science and Technology Council and the Committee on National Security.

Manny Diaz is mayor of Miami and President of the United States Conference of Mayors. Diaz is also a partner in the law firm of Diaz & O’Naghten, L.L.P.

Clark Kent Ervin is Director of the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Program. He served as the first Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Louis Freeh is Senior Managing Partner of Freeh Group International. He served as the FBI Director and as a Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ellen Gordon is Associate Director and Faculty for the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Gordon previously served as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor and Homeland Security and Emergency Management Administrator for the state of Iowa.

Lee Hamilton is President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Hamilton spent 34 years in Congress, representing Indiana's Ninth District and served on the Hart-Rudman Commission and as vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission. 

Raymond Kelly is the Police Commissioner of the City of New York. Kelly formerly served as Senior Managing Director of Global Corporate Security at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. Previously, he served as Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and as Under Secretary for Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department.

John Magaw is a Domestic and International Security Consultant who most recently served as the Under Secretary for Security at the Department of Transportation. Magaw has served as Acting Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and Director of the U.S. Secret Service.

Jeff Moss is Founder and Director of Black Hat and DEFCON Computer Hacker Conferences. Moss has also worked for Ernst & Young, LLP in their Information System Security division.

Martin O’Malley is Governor of Maryland. Governor O’Malley previously served as Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, as a member of the Baltimore City Council, and  Mayor of Baltimore City. 

Sonny Perdue is Governor of Georgia. Previously, he was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, a member of the Houston County Planning and Zoning Board and a member of the Georgia State Senate.

Harold Schaitberger is General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. He also serves as a vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and on the AFL-CIO Executive Committee, where he is a vice president of the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council.

Joe Shirley, Jr. is President of the Navajo Nation. He also served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the President's Commission of Sustainable Communities in Washington, D.C.

Kareem Shora is National Executive Director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). In 2008, he was selected by the Ford Foundation as a member of the Foreign Policy Task Force.

Lydia Thomas is a trustee of Noblis, Inc. She is a member of the Virginia Governor’s Commission on Climate Change and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cabot Corporation, the United States Energy Association, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council. 

Frances Fragos Townsend is a partner at Baker Botts, L.L.P. She previously served as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Assistant District Attorney.

Chuck Wexler is Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum. Wexler was an assistant to the nation’s first Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Operations Assistant to the Boston Police Commissioner.

John “Skip” Williams is Provost of The George Washington University (GWU) and serves as Vice President for Health Affairs at the GWU Medical Center. In 2002, the Republic of Panama bestowed the Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa on Williams for his efforts to create the International Center for Tropical Diseases and Genomic Studies.


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