Robert C. Cresanti was sworn in as Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology on March 20, 2006 in a private ceremony. President Bush nominated him on November 10, 2005; the United States Senate confirmed him on March 16, 2006. Leading the Technology Administration (TA), Cresanti oversees a policy analysis staff, and provides oversight to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Technical Information Service. The primary mission of the Technology Administration (TA) is to maximize the competitiveness and innovation of the U.S. technology industry and its contribution to America's economic growth and global leadership.
In addition, Commerce Secretary Gutierrez named Robert Cresanti to serve as Chief Privacy Officer for the Department of Commerce on July 13, 2006. The Under Secretary is involved in overseeing Departmental activities related to the development and implementation of federal privacy laws, policies and practices, and will coordinate with the Department's Chief Information Officer and other Departmental staff to ensure internal privacy, particularly the integrity of the Department's information systems. Cresanti is the highest-ranking official to serve in this capacity in the federal government.
The Under Secretary is focused on carrying forward President Bush's vision to grow the economy through the American Competitiveness Initiative and related policies and programs. As a portal between the federal government and the technology community, the Under Secretary's priorities are to:
• continue the Technology Administration's work in paving the way for appropriate government support of industry's rapid advances in technological development;
• foster an environment conducive to private sector investment in innovation, by identifying ways to facilitate knowledge exchange between scientists and investors, which will boost our country's economic performance;
• find efficient ways to promote the mechanisms and capture the data necessary to ensure and measure our return on government R&D investments;
• serve as a one-stop-shop for U.S. industry representatives to discuss and resolve critical issues that challenge their ability to thrive.
The Under Secretary co-chairs the Committee on Technology and chairs the Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing R&D within the President's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). He also participates in three other NSTC committees: the Committee on Science; the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; and the Committee on Homeland and National Security. He participates in the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), an advisory panel consisting of private sector and academic leaders who advise the President on technology, scientific research priorities, and math and science education. The Under Secretary is a member of the American Health Information Community (AHIC), established in 2005 and chaired by the Health and Human Services Secretary, to help advance efforts to reach President Bush's call for most Americans to have electronic health records within 10 years. He also chairs the Commerce Department Radio Frequency ID working group, and co-chairs the federal RFID Intra-governmental Council to ensure that RFID is understood within government, industry, and by consumers during development and deployment.
Before his confirmation, Cresanti served as Vice President of Public Policy at the Business Software Alliance. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the Information Technology Association of America. Earlier in his career, he served as Staff Director for the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. He was also Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Financial Services and Technology for the Senate Banking Committee. Mr. Cresanti received his B.A. degree from Austin College and his J.D. degree from Baylor University.