President Obama has just named Vivek Kundra the Federal Chief Information Officer at the White House. During his campaign, Obama had stated he would create a technology czar to help government run more efficiently. In the newly created federal position, Kundra will be responsible for policy and strategic planning of federal IT spending.
“Vivek Kundra will bring a depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations to this position,” Obama said in a statement. “I have directed him to work to ensure that we are using the spirit of American innovation and the power of technology to improve performance and lower the cost of government operations. As chief information officer, he will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible.”
Industry insiders are praising Kundra’s appointment. Aneesh Chopra, Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, tells Executive Biz: “Vivek is an exceptional choice … he blends operational excellence with innovation and will deliver on President Obama’s vision of a more open, participatory and collaborative government.”
Kundra formerly served as the District of Columbia’s chief technology officer. Back in the spring of 2007, Kundra was appointed to the role by Mayor Adrian Fenty. Along the way, Kundra pioneered ways to make government services more effective, accessible, and transparent through online innovation, and engaged citizens through what he calls a “digital public square.”
To learn more about Kundra, check out our recent interview with him.