Standards, Regulations & Compliance

The Influencers: Tom Carper

United States Senator from Delaware
The Influencers: Tom Carper
The Influencers is a continuing series of profiles of the people who shape federal government information security and privacy policy.

Thomas Carper
United States Senator

Why He's an Influencer
The senior senator from Delaware chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs' Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Service, and International Security, which provides oversight on federal government information technology and information security policy. He also is the prime sponsor of the United States Information and Communications Enforcement Act, a Senate bill aimed to update the Federal Information Security Management Act. As a consensus builder, he says he's seeking to create legislation that can muster support not only from his fellow senators but also House members and the president.

His Experience
The Delaware Democrat has spent more than three-fourths of his adult life in elective office. Add his years as a Naval and Naval Reserve officer, his entire adult life has been devoted to public service.

Delaware voters first elected Carper in 1976 as state treasurer. Six years later, he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving five terms until his election in 2000 to the U.S. Senate. He was reelected in 2006.

Besides heading the panel that provides oversight for federal IT, Carper chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works' Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee and serves on the Finance Committee. He also is the deputy whip of the Senate's Democratic Party majority.

Carper spent five years as a Navy flight officer, serving in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict, and another 18 years in the Navy Reserves, retiring in 1991 with the rank of captain. He and his wife Martha Ann reside in Wilmington, Del. Their two sons are college students.

What's Said About Carper
"Tom Carper has sought to build consensus and work across party lines to find practical solutions to real problems. The Washington Post's David Broder calls Tom Carper 'a notably effective and nonpartisan leader, admired and trusted on both sides of the aisle.'" -Third Way, a not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank

Carper, In His Own Words
"Too often, we have agencies who manage what we call paper compliance, rather than really addressing the security of their networks. We want to go beyond paper compliance. we want to extend to the best of ability to just ensure that our networks are more secure."

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About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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