NSTIC picks its officers, gets down to work

The push is officially under way to create an identity layer for the Internet that promises to secure online transactions. It's a lofty goal with many challenges.

Nearly 16 months after President Obama laid out plans to create a common identity layer for the Internet, the group spearheading the effort has elected a set of officers to develop and maintain standards and policies that will define the initiative.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) was born with ambition in April 2011, suffered through a period of churn, but is now ready to get down to real work.

NSTIC outlines the parameters for an "identity ecosystem" to be built and managed by the private sector and other non-government entities.

During a two-day meeting in Chicago this week, which was often bogged down in procedure or the lack thereof, Brett McDowell, who works for PayPal, was elected chair of the management council, and Bob Blakley from CitiGroup won approval as chair of the Plenary for the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IESG).

Late in the day Thursday, Kaliya Hamlin, who is also known as Identity Woman, tweeted, "Sitting in the first #nstic steering committee meeting. @brettmcdowell is chairing."

The NSTIC charter calls for the Steering Group to be made up of industry leaders and stakeholders from outside the government.

Officers were elected for half of the 14 delegate subgroups. The other seven delegates will be decided Monday in runoff elections.  

The subgroups will concentrate on specific issues such as small businesses, interoperability, usability and research along with more focused technical issues.

In addition, one of two delegates at-large was approved and the other will be decided in Monday’s runoffs.

The full list of officers is posted on the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group website.

Also at the meeting, NSTIC’s by-laws and charter were ratified.

The first face-to-face meeting of the Steering Group was overseen by Sudhi Umarji, president of Trusted Federal Systems (TFS), which is the “secretariat” that will provide secretarial, administrative and logistical support to the Steering Group.

The next milestone for NSTIC will come early next month when it announces the winners in its pilot grant program.

Each pilot program selected will be funded for up to two years and with up to $2 million to create the pieces that will shape NSTIC.

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