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Office of Science and Technology Policy

For Immediate Release July 24, 1998

The President announced his intention to appoint Robert Elliot Kahn to serve as a member of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee. Dr. Kahn of McLean, Virginia, is Chairman, CEO and President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), which he founded in 1986.

The President has amended Executive Order 13035, which established the Advisory Committee on High-Performance Computing and Communications, Information Technology, and the Next Generation Internet, to rename it the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) and to enlarge its membership.

In February 1997, the President established the Committee to provide guidance and advice to the Administration on all areas of high performance computing, communications, and information technology, with particular emphasis on strengthening future information technology R&D programs. The Committee was instrumental in securing Congressional support for the President's Next Generation Internet initiative by endorsing it at House and Senate hearings and at national scientific and educational research forums. PITAC reports to the President through the President's Science Advisor, who is also the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In a letter to the President on June 3, 1998, the Committee urged that public investments in computer, communication, and other information technology research be significantly expanded to ensure an ever-increasing standard of living and quality of life for Americans. In his June 5, 1998, commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, President Clinton underscored his commitment to a strong federal program in this area when he said, " just the past four years, information technology has been responsible for more than a third of our economic expansion. Without government-funded research, computers, the Internet, communications satellites wouldn't have gotten started. In the budget I submit to Congress for the year 2000, I will call for significant increases in computing and communications research. I have directed Dr. Neal Lane, my new Advisor for Science and Technology, to work with our nation's research community to prepare a detailed plan for my review." An interim report detailing the Committee's recommendations, scheduled for release in August 1998, is expected to form the basis for that plan.

The 26 members of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee include several corporate leaders from the computing and communications industry, two recipients of the National Medal of Technology, and experts from the research, education, and library communities. It is co-chaired by Ken Kennedy, the Ann and John Doerr Professor of Computational Engineering at Rice University, and Bill Joy, Vice President for Research at Sun Microsystems.

Dr. Kahn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He is a former member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine and the United States Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure. In 1997, the President presented the National Medal of Technology to Dr. Kahn for his role in the creation and development of the Internet. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the Marconi Award, and twice the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Dr. Kahn received his B.E.E. from the City College of New York and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.