MS seeks senior spook to score Federal security $$$s

Redmond's bid for post-9/11 troughware

Microsoft is seeking to hire a high level executive whose role will be "to position Microsoft as a strategic partner to the [US] government in using our products and technologies to build Homeland Security solutions." Or, as the lead-in to the help-wanted ad less modestly puts it: "The Director of Federal Homeland Security will partner the world's most successful software company with the world's most powerful nation in using innovative and agile technology to prepare, detect, prevent, protect, respond, recover and manage against terrorism."

When not steering an alliance between the world's two remaining superpowers, the director will lead the Microsoft Homeland Security Leadership team (which we'd never heard of, possibly because it's only just been invented), and seems to be expected to combine intense lobbying of the Office of Homeland Security with acting as Microsoft's 'Face of Homeland Security' to the press, at conferences and through white papers.

The detailed responsibilities listed in the ad are commendably upfront, making no bones about the director's role being to secure Microsoft a large share of the post-9/11 Federal security trough. The successful candidate will have "more than 10 years experience as a senior level US Government executive," and "must hold a security clearance, Top Secret with polygraph preferred." They must also "be willing to maintain active clearance at highest levels of security" and "be knowledgeable and experienced in Federal government business, both operationally and [ahem...] politically."

So Microsoft wants to pull in a senior spook who knows the people in Washington (and indeed will be based in Washington), and is willing and able to "use and leverage credentials (including security clearances), existing relationships, and knowledge of the Federal government's business and politics to position Microsoft as a strategic partner to the government in using our products and technologies to build Homeland Security solutions."

They'll have to "engage Microsoft Homeland Security Leadership Team on a regular basis in all Office of Homeland Security ongoing activites," keep up with "congressional decisions, appropriations, executive orders and presidential directives that may impact Homeland Security opportunities [i.e. $$$s]," and keep track of "Homeland Security related approriations and which agencies manage the funding [i.e. more $$$s]."

The job also involves 'helping' the Office of Homeland Security decide what it is that it's going to ask companies like Microsoft for, before it officially asks. The director will "lead Microsoft's responses to Office of Homeland Security related RFIs and RFPs" but will also "be proactive in influencing requirements prior to RFI/RFP stage." We understand this is a process Microsoft has successfully beta-tested this approach with a smaller country's government, also beginning with U.

Part and parcel of this proactivity will be to "develop and maintain strong relationships with key influential government executives" and to "establish oneself as a trusted advisor to the Office of Homeland Security staff."

Fortunately, as US government officials are incorruptible, and Microsoft is noted for its readiness to dispense impartial advice and guidance without fear or favour, world security will be safe the hands of the new director, whoever that may be. If you think you're hard enough (and if you are, we've no idea why you're reading The Register, but suspect it's not for fun), then you can get full details here. ®

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