[Published originally in the January 2004 edition of Computing Research News, Vol. 16/No. 1, p. 6.]
President’s IT Advisory Committee Has First Meeting
After a long period of inactivity, the current President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) met for the first time in a public session on November 12, 2003, to lay out its plan of action and focus areas for the coming months. The committee, chaired by University of Washington professor Edward Lazowska and Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff, provides advice to the President about the federal government’s NITRD efforts.
The committee, comprised of 25 representatives from academia and industry, will focus on three main topic areas for IT research in the coming year: homeland security, advancing the sciences, and the American health care system and medical science. The November meeting focused exclusively on IT issues in the nation’s health care system. The committee took testimony from Elias Zerhouni, Director of NIH; Mark McClellan, Director of the Food and Drug Administration; and Jonathan Perlin, Deputy Undersecretary for Health, Veterans’ Health Administration.
The public meeting marked the first activity for the PITAC committee since September 2001. President Bush allowed the PITAC committee membership—appointed by former President Clinton in 1997—to lapse in December 2001. The President named his own appointments to the committee in June 2003 (see: http://www.nitrd.gov/pitac/members_nominees.html).
PITAC members include several current and former CRA board members. In addition to PITAC Co-Chair Ed Lazowska, a current member and former chair of the CRA board, it includes Dave Patterson (UC Berkeley), former member and board chair, and current members Eugene Spafford (Purdue) and Dan Reed (UNC Chapel Hill).
The committee will meet next in early 2004.
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