Governance & Risk Management , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development

White House Creates IT Director Post

Recordon Was Co-Developer of OpenID Authentication Protocol
White House Creates IT Director Post
David Recordon

One of the key developers of the OpenID authentication protocol will be the first director of White House information technology.

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President Obama on March 19 tapped Facebook Engineering Director David Recordon, 28, for the post. Recordon joined Facebook in August 2009. For the past year, he also served as a consultant to the U.S. Digital Service, a White House-sponsored community of government technology specialists working to improve the federal government's digital services.

Recordon's appointment as White House IT director comes nearly five months after hackers broke into an unclassified White House IT system, although administration officials did not say the creation of the post was related to the breach (see Hackers Breach White House Network). But one of the responsibilities of the White House IT director is to ensure the resiliency and security of information systems that support Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the Executive Office of the President staff.

The president says his appointment of Recordon is part of the administration's continuing effort of bringing top technology leaders to support federal government teams. "His considerable private sector experience and ability to deploy the latest collaborative and communications technologies will be a great asset to our work on behalf of the American people," Obama says in a statement.

'Remarkable Guy'

In 2007, Recordon was a founding board member of the OpenID Foundation. OpenID is an open standard and protocol that allows users to log into multiple, unrelated websites without needing to create new passwords. "David is exceptionally bright and passionate," Shreyas Doshi, director of product management at Twitter, said in a 2007 LinkedIn post. "He is a great ambassador for the OpenID technology and has been instrumental in building a strong, global OpenID community. I am pretty certain that we can look forward to many more great things from this remarkable guy."

Earlier in his career, Recordon worked as a software engineer at the IT security firm VeriSign.

According to memorandum signed by Obama, the White House information technology director will have the primary authority to establish and coordinate the necessary policies and procedures for operating and maintaining the information resources and information systems provided to the president, vice president and Executive Office of the President, the formal name for White House operation supporting the president and vice president.

Ensuring Effective, Secure Systems

Recordon will report to Anita Breckenridge, White House deputy chief of staff for operations, who says the new director will ensure that the technology used by Obama, Biden and other White House personnel is "efficient, effective and secure."

"This includes converging overlapping systems, modernizing software used to collaborate and bringing use of new technologies in line with private sector best practices," Breckenridge writes in a White House blog. "This work will both benefit the operations of the White House and also help pave the way for improvements across the federal government."

Obama, in the memorandum, also established the Executive Committee for Presidential Information Technology, whose members include the assistant to the president for management and administration, executive secretary of the National Security Council and directors of the Office of Administration, Secret Service and White House Military Office. The committee will advise the White House deputy chief of staff and IT director on operational and procurement decisions.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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