Coffman to lead White House telecom panel

Vance Coffman, chief executive officer and chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp., has been named chairman of the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

The panel was formed by executive order in 1982 to offer industry advice to the president on the implications for national security and emergency preparedness of the nation's telecommunications networks. Its mission is to ensure that the telecommunications infrastructure is adequate for national security and emergency preparedness and to address vulnerabilities in the infrastructure.

"A robust telecommunications infrastructure is vital to national security and emergency preparedness," Coffman said following the Aug. 9 White House announcement of his selection by President Bush.

The panel is comprised of up to 30 executives representing major telecommunications and network-service providers, information technology, financial, aerospace and defense firms.

Committee documents show the group's recommendations have provided the basis for government action to secure the U.S. information infrastructure, beginning with the establishment of the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications in 1984.

Recently, the panel identified the need for the government to ensure security and preparedness as networks converge, blurring the distinction between telecommunications and other information systems.

Coffman has served in a series of elected corporate leadership positions at Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md., including president and chief operating officer. He previously was president and chief operating officer of Lockheed Martin's Space & Strategic Missiles Sector.

Before the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta Corp. in 1995, Coffman served as executive vice president of Lockheed Corp. Before that, he was president of the Space Systems Division of Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. and a vice president of the corporation.

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