Honoring Howard Schmidt

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The SAFECode board and members join the cybersecurity community in mourning the loss of Howard Schmidt as an industry pioneer, colleague, collaborator, and friend.

Howard’s contributions to the cybersecurity community have been recognized in many ways, most recently by his receiving the 2017 Award for Excellence in the Field of Information Security.

The SAFECode members and board share some of their thoughts and memories of their time and experience with Howard that fundamentally shaped the SAFECode organization and its contributions to the industry.

Steve Lipner, Executive Director, SAFECode
Howard was the Microsoft CISO, and we worked together on customer and government outreach and evangelizing the importance of security to Microsoft management. In 2000, Howard created the team that eventually became Trustworthy Computing.

Howard always felt a higher calling to service to the government of the United States. There’s no better demonstration of that than the fact that, in late 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, he left Microsoft to join the White House cybersecurity policy office.

After several tours in and outside of government including serving as the Cybersecurity Advisor to President Obama, Howard left the White House and joined SAFECode as Executive Director. He provided strategic counsel to the SAFECode board, helped bring new members to the organization, and was instrumental in driving work on approaches to software security assurance that would be practical both for IT users and developers.

Howard and I spent a lot of time together, traveling to conferences and business meetings in places from Florida to Belgium to Washington DC. He was a good friend and a nice guy, and I’ll miss him.

Eric Baize, Chairman, SAFECode, Dell EMC
Howard Schmidt’s work over the last several decades in both the public and the private sectors along with his direct involvement in organizations like SAFECode have made him a historical figure in the field of Information Security. I feel privileged to have worked closely with Howard during the last few years. He was an extraordinary man, full of common sense and very keen on sharing his passion. He has influenced generations of Information Security professionals and I have no doubt that the influence of his work will be felt for the decades to come. We will all miss him.

Frances Paulisch, Vice Chairman, SAFECode, Siemens
Howard Schmidt had a broad range of experience, both in the public and private sectors. But beyond that he had a keen interest and drive to use that experience to improve the software assurance community. He was a role model for many of us and will be sorely missed.

Scott Charney, CVP of Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft
Howard was a pioneer in cybersecurity who worked tirelessly to protect computer users throughout the world. His passing leaves an incredible void, one that I suspect cannot be filled.

Dave Lenoe, Treasurer, SAFECode, Adobe
Howard was an incredibly accomplished individual who was also one of the most accessible, warm people I have ever met. He had a story for every occasion, and he valued every interaction. It was a privilege to work with him, and I know all of the people he formed bonds with feel the same sense of loss that I do.

Further coverage of Howard’s legacy was captured by Dark Reading, quoting Steve Lipner’s time and experience with Howard:

In Appreciation: Howard A. Schmidt

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