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Howard Schmidt

October 5, 1949 ~ March 2, 2017 (age 67)

On Thursday morning, March 2nd 2017, surrounded by his wife and four sons, Howard Anthony Schmidt (67), a loving husband, father and grandfather peacefully passed away following a long battle with cancer, in his Muskego, Wisconsin home.

Born on October 5th, 1949, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Howard had a tremendously successful and inspirational career spanning a wide variety of professions within the public and private sectors. He started his decorated military career by enlisting in the US Air Force in 1967 and completed three tours of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, earning three Bronze Stars. He was also a Chief of Transportation and Deputy Director of Resource Management until 1982. He served in the Arizona Air National Guard with the 161st Communications Squadron based at Phoenix International Airport, from 1989 until 1998 when he transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves as a Special Agent, Criminal Investigation Division (CID) where he would serve until his retirement.

Howard was a police officer for the Chandler Police Department in Arizona from 1983 to 1994 where he served on the SWAT team, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Unit and formed and led the Special Enforcement Team. In 1994, he accepted a position with the FBI's National Drug Intelligence Center, where he headed the Computer Exploitation Team. He then joined the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) as a Supervisory Special Agent and Director of the Computer Crime and Information Warfare Division. In 1996, while serving in that position, he established the first dedicated computer forensic lab in the federal government, which was the basis for the formation of the Defense Computer Forensic Laboratory (DCFL).

In 1997, Howard joined Microsoft, as the Director of Information Security, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and later Chief Security Officer (CSO). In December 2001 shortly after 9/11, Howard was appointed by President George W. Bush as the Vice Chair of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and as the Special Adviser for Cyberspace Security for the White House. While there, he assisted in the creation of the National Strategy to Secure CyberSpace and later assumed the role as Chair of the CIPB. In May 2003 he joined eBay as a Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

In December 2009, Howard was named Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs by President Barack Obama. Howard retired from the White House and government service in May of 2012.

Most recently, Howard was a co-founder and partner of Ridge-Schmidt Cyber with Gov. Tom Ridge. He also served as Executive Director of Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode) and served as Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce Cyber Leadership Council. He was a board member of (ISC)² and ISSA, and Chairman of the board of Codenomicon. Howard was also a professor of practice at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Professor of Research at Idaho State University, adjunct distinguished fellow with Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab and a distinguished fellow with the Ponemon Institute.

Howard was an avid single engine Cessna pilot in his younger years. He also started fishing at a very young age and later loved to reel in the bass of Little Muskego Lake. Howard enjoyed riding his Harley motorcycle all over the world (but not over tall bridges.) He enjoyed dancing, hunting muskrats, traveling the world, snorkeling in Hawaii, lakeside sunsets but most of all, he loved spending time with his grandchildren. While Seattle may have been his home, Wisconsin, is where his heart was.

Howard is survived by his loving wife, Raemarie, his four sons and their wives Kyle & Revea, David & Amy, Andrew & Hollie, Anthony & Lauren; his 8 grandchildren, Kylie, Nicholas (Kyle), Ashlyn, Grant, (David) Abigail, Eleanor, William (Andrew) and Layla (Anthony); his mother, Edith; his stepmother, Gloria; sisters Mary and Betti; and many loving nieces, nephews and extended family.

Visitation will be held at the Funeral Home on Friday, March 10th 2017 beginning at 10:00AM, followed by a brief service at noon and processional to the cemetery at 1:00. All those who plan to attend please rsvp via email to

Please send donations to the 'Brain Tumor Research Program' Checks should be made out to the 'Medical College of Wisconsin - Brain Tumor Research Program' and mailed to Dr. Connelly 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226.

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