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Archive for March 6th, 2009

DHS director of the National Cybersecurity Center resigns

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The DorobekInsider has learned that Rod Beckstrom, DHS’s director of the agency’s National Cybersecurity Center, has resigned.

His letter is posted below:

View this document on Scribd

The move comes as a surprise to many. While friends know that he was frustrated by living in DC — his family lives in California — he wasintrigued by the challenges that DHS faced. But that post has also been mired in bureaucratic infighting.

Beckstrom, of course, is well known for writing the popular book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.

Here is his bio:

portrait_beckstrom_rodMr. Rod Beckström is the Director of the National Cybersecurity Center in the United States Department of Homeland Security. He was appointed to his current position on March 7, 2008, and reports to Secretary MichaelChertoff.

In his capacity as Director of the Center, he facilitates information sharing and collaboration among Federal Government organizations responsible for various aspects ofcybersecurity . He leads the effort to fuse information across multiple Federal Government domains in order to represent the composite state of U.S.cyber networks and systems.

Before joining the Department of Homeland Security, he founded several companies, including C*ATS Software Inc., which he took public as the Chairman and CEO. He has co-authored four books, including The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations that presents a new model for analyzing organizational competitive strategies. He is a graduate of Stanford University with an MBA and a BA with Honors and Distinction. He served as Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the combined Stanford student body and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland.

Written by cdorobek

March 6, 2009 at 12:54 PM

DorobekInsider 2.0: Same thing on a different platform

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I started this blog six months ago — six months and four days ago, to be exact. (You can read the first post here .) I was between jobs — I had left Federal Computer Week after almost a decade and I had not yet started at Federal News Radio 1500 AM. While at FCW, I had started the FCW Insider on It was one of the first blogs in the government IT market — and it had evolved over time into a place where issues could be discussed and conversations could be started. But it was also a place for community.

But that blog — and this one — have always been a labor of love. These posts are over and above my day job, which involves pulling together my radio show — and I get a lot of grousing from my family about the amount of time I spend writing. (My friend MarkAmtower and I disagree about the importance of regular posts. I think that blogs aren’t relevant if they don’t have regular information posted.)

As of today, you may have noticed some changes — the has moved to What does this mean? You can still visit In the end, there will be some technical changes. If you read the on a RSS feed, that link has changed. You can subscribe to the RSS feed in your reader here. And if you get the by e-mail, that will also change soon.

Comments… Yes, for right now, there is no way to comment. We’re working on that and we’ll have a solution soon… and we hope that will providecommentability across Federal News Radio’s Web site.

What isn’t changing is the content. This blog has evolved over time — and it will continue to change and evolved and as I try new things. But I’m thrilled by the association with Federal News Radio. As I said when I originally joined Federal News Radio 1500 AM, my first love of journalism was through radio — and in the past six months, I’ve really fallen in love with what I get to do every day. I hope that Federal News Radio 1500AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris is something similar to what goes on here with this blog — a place where people can learn whats going on… they can learn… they can even look at things a different way. Part of the idea about moving to is that it gives me a bigger platform to grow it and continue to try new things.

In addition, you may notice that the is located on’s home page right under Mike Causey. Causey, of course, is the cornerstone of Federal News Radio. He’s a legend. He writes his daily column for Federal News Radio … and Causey has been covering the federal world for years. He worked for the Washington Post for years, and then at an upstarted Web site in the dot-com era, That is where I first had the opportunity to work with him. (I was the technology reporter for PlanetGov.) In so many ways, he blazed the trail for so many of the rest of us. Causey just gets feds. He has always defended them against the sometimes foolish attacks — but he will also throw a flag when he thinks they have gone out of bounds. He gets and understands that this is a community — and that the press is essential to a community. And he does all of it with that wonderful sense of humor. I’m honored to there right next to him.

Finally — the transparency. Where does my salary come from? I said that the DorobekInsider has been a labor of love. The work so far has been literally above and beyond my day job. And you may notice that I didn’t have any ads on the page. There will be ads on these pages. I do not get paid based on any specific advertiser — and the sales people have never told us what we can — or can’t — cover or do. The same is true here. Essentially, I get paid based on traffic. If anything, that just encourages me to do something that I do already — provide content that you want to read. Meanwhile, most of my income comes from my salary for doing my daily radio program. (A comment had questioned whether I get paid for consulting — I don’t have time to consult on anything… nor would that bejounalisticly ethical.)

I want to thank the online team at Federal News Radio and WTOP. Federal News Radio director of operations John Meyer is the guy who gets my 11 PM e-mails with the subject line, “I have an idea…” and he listens to them. Also Steve Dolge and Christian Calloway… they all listened to my quirks about what a blog is.

Written by cdorobek

March 6, 2009 at 8:21 AM