Richard Barth appointed DHS assistant secretary for policy development

Published 26 September 2006

Appointment of Motorola executive should keep interoperability fires burning; telecommunications industry continues to fill critical roles at DHS

Emergency interoperability gained a useful ally last week with the appointment of Richard Barth as DHS first assistant secretary for policy development. Barth joins the department after twelve years at Motorola as corporate vice president for homeland security strategy. The company has been a leader in mesh networking technology, says analyst W. David Stephenson, and there is therefore good reason to believe that he will take his interest with him to his new digs in Washington. His interest in radios is so serious, in fact, that he has been roundly criticized by human rights groups for selling encrypted communications equipment to the Chinese Red Army.

Barth is the second recently appointed DHS official to come out of the technology sector. Last week we reported that Greg Garcia, formerly vice president at the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and a government relations expert at 3Com, had been named assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications.

-read more in David Hubler’s Federal Computer Week report; read W. David Stephenson’s analysis