ITAA taps Sybase's Robert Laurence as interim president

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) has named Sybase Inc. Vice President Robert Laurence as its interim president. He replaces Harris Miller, who left the organization last week to run for the U.S. Senate in Virginia.

In an announcement last week, the ITAA said that Laurence, a vice president of public-sector sales at Sybase, will lead the trade group while it searches for a permanent new president. Miller had served as president of the ITAA for more than 10 years.

In an interview today, Miller said he left the ITAA to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Virginia, where he hopes to unseat first-term Republican Sen. George Allen. Miller said he began considering a run for the Senate in October.

Dave Sanders, chairman of the ITAA and president of commercial solutions at Perot Systems Corp., said the group will now put together a search committee to find a permanent president. Several possible candidates have already inquired about the position, he said.

The ITAA president is a full-time, paid executive who is the spokesman and public face of the group, Sanders said. 'We appreciate the significant contributions of Harris Miller to ITAA over the past 10 years,' he said in a statement. 'Harris has been a strong voice for the IT industry and [has] done an outstanding job as an advocate for the ITAA policy agenda.'

Laurence has been involved with the ITAA since the early 1990s and said in a statement that he will continue to push its programs and agenda. Laurence has served as chairman and vice chairman of the ITAA board of directors and as a member of the enterprise solutions board of directors. He has also served as chairman of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, of which the ITAA is the secretariat.