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WAKEFIELD, Mass -- Rob Tourt, vice president of network services at Discover Financial Services, will take over as chairman of the PCI Security Standards Council effective Jan. 1. Tourt is already a member of the council's executive committee.

The council is a global, open industry standards body that provides management of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), PCI PIN Entry Device (PED) Security Requirements, and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS). Its mission is to enhance payment account security by fostering broad adoption of the PCI Data Security Standard and other standards that increase payment data security.

Tourt, an industry-leading expert in payments security with more than 15 years of risk management experience, has been with Discover Financial Services since 1986 and has held a variety of roles during his tenure including fraud investigator, recovery collections manager, director of national sales support, vice president of network products to vice president of network operations and risk management. He is a frequent speaker at credit-card industry events, and is also a member of the Electronic Transaction Association's fraud and risk committee and a former board member of the Merchant Risk Council.

"I am very excited about the year ahead and look forward to helping the council foster greater adoption and awareness of our standards," Tourt said in a statement.

Tourt succeeds Seana Pitt, vice president of global merchant policy and data quality for American Express global network operations, who has led the council since its inception in September 2006. Per the council's bylaws, the chairperson is rotated annually from each of the five payment card brands that make up its Board of Directors: American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc.

"I have been privileged to help lead the council in its first year and gratified to see a huge number of global stakeholders respond to the call for increased payment security" Pitt said. "Rob shares the commitment to combating fraud and ensuring that payment card data is protected. His expertise will be highly valued as the new chairman."