Colin Powell set as RSA Conference 2007 keynote speaker

Colin Powell, the former national security adviser, secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver a keynote address at RSA Conference 2007, organizers told today.

Powell, who turns 70 in April, will discuss "the world as he sees it," said Sandra Toms LaPedis, vice president and general manager for RSA Conferences.

Powell, a large AOL stockholder and former member of the internet giant's board of directors, has little other IT experience on his résumé. But his presence at RSA, to be held Feb. 5 to 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, is part of an "innovator" theme, LaPedis said. It was not immediately known when Powell will speak.

Powell, the highest ranking African-American in the histories of the U.S. Armed Forces and the executive branch, served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

Powell was appointed as President Reagan's national security adviser from 1987 to 1989, and as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. He was secretary of state throughout the first term of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.

Innovators Tom Kelly, general manager of design consultancy firm IDEO, which created the Apple mouse and Palm V personal digital assistant, and Ray Kurzweil, a pioneer in speech recognition technology, are also scheduled speakers.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend RSA, which returns to San Francisco after a stint in San Jose last year. More than 325 exhibitors and 460 other speakers are expected to participate.

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