New chairman to be named to telecom advisory committee

A new chairman and vice chairwoman will be named to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, according to the National Communications System.

The president has announced he intends to designate F. Duane Ackerman, chairman and CEO of BellSouth Corp., as NSTAC chairman. Ackerman currently is the advisory committee's vice chair.

Moving into the vice chair position will be committee member Patricia F. Russo, president and CEO of Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J.

NSTAC is a committee of up to 30 presidentially-appointed industry executives, usually chief executive officers, created in 1982, to provide industry-based advice to the president on issues of national security and emergency preparedness communications policy.

The need for direct industry involvement in developing and implementing national communications policy became necessary as a variety of media and protocols converged in the communications infrastructure. Although it is critical to the Government, the information infrastructure is owned and operated primarily by the private sector and Government cannot fully address communications issues without industry's participation.

A number of major telecom carriers have representatives working directly with NCS, a part of the Homeland Security Department, said NCS spokesman Steve Barrett.

NSTAC holds annual meetings, but "most of the work is done by their designated representatives," Barrett said. These make up the Industry Executive Subcommittee that produces reports and studies.

Several slots on the committee currently are not filled, but the White House announced earlier this month its intention to appoint William H. Swanson, chairman and CEO of Raytheon Co., and Gary Forsee, chairman and CEO of Sprit Corp., to the committee.

Unfilled seats for MCI Corp. and EDS Corp. remain.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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