President Obama today announced that Vivek Kundra, chief technology officer for the District, will be the federal chief information officer.
It’s a job that did not exist in previous administrations; Obama, who leveraged social networks, text messages and other Internet tools on the campaign trail, promised to create a technology czar with the aim of helping the government operate more efficiently.
Kundra, 34, is expected to oversee how government agencies purchase and use information technology and will be in charge of all federal technology spending. He also will be responsible for making sure agencies’ networks and systems work together and share information while maintaining security and privacy standards.
Obama also plans to appoint a chief technology officer who will work closely with Kundra, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcements are not yet official. The exact job description for that position has not yet been announced, but the chief technology officer might focus more on overall technology policy while the chief information officer will handle day-to-day spending and operations within agency projects…
As the District’s chief technology officer, Kundra oversaw technology projects and budgets for 86 agencies. He previously served as Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s assistant secretary of commerce and trade, and later as assistant secretary of technology. His experience in those public sector roles, as well as his stint running technology start-ups, make him well suited for the federal position.
He’s bound to be an improvement over recent supervisors of our government’s “Tubes”.
OK, ignore my smartass remark about the late, unlamented thug in the White House, Kundra seems to be more than competent. Phew! I don’t know if I can stand more intelligent, capable people running our government?
UPDATE: Here is the conference call Kundra led immediately after the announcement of his appointment. Pretty impressive stuff to me.