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NSTIC Implementation Hits an Important Milestone: The Identity Ecosystem Steering Group Exists!

Last week, implementation of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) reached an important milestone:  the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG or Steering Group) convened for the very first time. The meeting signified a major turning point for NSTIC.  While NSTIC was issued by the government, it calls for the private sector to lead the crafting of an Identity Ecosystem that can replace passwords, allow individuals to prove online that they are who they claim to be, and enhance privacy.  

The launch of the Steering Group represented the formal handing of the baton to the private sector.  Heading into Chicago, we knew interest would be strong; however, we were thrilled to see that participation surpassed even our greatest expectations. In total, 364 organizations and companies registered to participate in the new Steering Group, along with more than 230 interested individuals.  With some organizations signing up multiple individuals to participate in the IDESG’s standing committees and working groups, the total number of registered participants topped 960 members!  And representing the strong interest that NSTIC has garnered from across the globe, registrants came from 12 countries outside the United States, including Japan, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia.  At the meeting itself, 195 members attended in person and 315 members participated remotely for at least part of the two day event.  This was a stellar amount of participation for a brand new organization.  Over the course of two days, IDESG members elected officers, reviewed a charter and draft by-laws,  and established close to a dozen working groups and standing committees to address specific challenges the IDESG will face in the weeks and months ahead.  This was no small task. Of particular note, the IDESG elected two chairs for an initial six-month term:  Bob Blakley of Citigroup will chair the IDESG Plenary, and Brett McDowell of PayPal will serve as chair of the new Management Council.  

Details on the working groups and standing committees – including reports on the initial work plans of each – should be available on the IDESG website in the next few days. The Work Has Begun Working groups and standing committees are already scheduling conference calls and organizing their work for the weeks and months ahead.  The IDESG Secretariat will post a calendar of events with additional information on next steps and opportunities to engage, including details on the working group charters and deliverables. The IDESG is tentatively scheduled to reconvene in person Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 in the Washington, D.C. area to finalize its charter and by-laws, continue important working group and standing committee discussions, and build upon the foundation established in Chicago.  The kickoff meeting is behind us and the work has begun, but if you are not already a member, don’t fret:  the door is still open to join the IDESG and contribute to the working group and standing committee efforts. 

We appreciate the efforts so many of you have made over the last year to support the NSTIC, including providing valuable input on how to best catalyze the creation of a privately-led Steering Group to push its implementation forward.  Thanks to all of you for a productive two days in Chicago – and we look forward to working more with you over the months and years to come as we drive material improvements in the way we enable trusted identities in cyberspace!


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