Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology
January 11, 2010
Video of event
Congressman Van Hollen, thank you very much for that kind introduction. It's my great pleasure as a host of today's event to welcome you all to NIST. We are delighted to have been chosen by the governor's staff to host this important event, and as I look around the room, you can't help but be struck that this truly is a leadership summit. We have Team Maryland. We have the governor, lieutenant governor, his economic development team. We have leaders from federal agencies, from Maryland's leading academic institutions, and from Maryland businesses. In fact, it makes me wonder who didn't come, who is sitting in the bunker to protect us all. This is an important event for NIST for several reasons. This is very much a part of our mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness and at the same time to protect federal information security systems.
We've had a long track record of working in this area. We have considerable resources devoted to it. NIST standards lay the foundation for the securing of federal information systems, NIST encryption algorithms protect data exchanges all over the world including financial transactions, and we support the world's most comprehensive public database of IT vulnerabilities that used by vendors around the world to protect information systems.
When you pull together the assets like we see in this room today together, NIST becomes a winner because we have the real opportunity here to have the whole be greater than the sum of the parts and generate not only addressing these particular critical issues but also creating a synergy that will create momentum, jobs and economic activity. We know how important cyber security is. It is imperative to the country because so much relies on the effective use and our trust in information technology. Clearly we have to do better.
I think all of us are committed to that effort. This other reason I am very happy about this event is that this is very much in the spirit of what the President talks about when he talks about innovation. It is the simultaneous tackling of great problems and doing it in such a way that it creates economic opportunity. And to make that happen, it takes great leadership, for this type of community effort to take hold. Specifically it takes great leadership at the state level. The states play an enormously important role in this type of activity.
So I am particularly delighted with the governor and his leadership and this effort, for the congressional delegation and other officials and the Maryland Department of Economic and Business Development for their leadership in writing this report and pulling together this Summit today. Governor O'Malley has always shown this type of engaged leadership. Prior to being elected as Maryland's 61st Governor in 2007, he served as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. Many of my NIST colleagues remember that who live in Baltimore, we talked about that, and before that in the Baltimore city council from 1991 to 1999. In his tenure as Governor and as Mayor of Baltimore, Governor O'Malley has been a prominent supporter for improved public security and public safety, and today's topic of cyber security is another example of his leadership and interest in this area. Please join me in welcoming Governor Martin O'Malley to tell us more about this report and this activity.