Vivek Kundra, the nation's first Chief Information Officer, has announced that he is stepping down and moving on to another job at Harvard University.
Politico reported the news as confirmed by U.S. Office of Management and Budget director Jack Lew.
After serving as the U.S. Chief Technology Officer for two years, Kundra was first appointed as CIO by President Obama in March 2009 amid a flurry of speculation as to what this new role would entail. Kundra tackled many different projects in the last two years, primarily focusing on modernizing and cost-cutting government IT, and working on a shift towards cloud-computing for government agencies.
Federal News Radio posted the OMB's statement with specifics about Kundra's government career:
He has cracked down on wasteful IT spending, saved $3 billion in taxpayer dollars; moved the government to the cloud; strengthened the cybersecurity posture of the nation while making it more open, transparent, and participatory. His work has been replicated across the world from 16 countries that have deployed the data.gov model to tap into the ingenuity of their people to multiple countries that have deployed the IT dashboard to save money.
However, Kundra has run into a number of stumbling blocks along the way, which is inevitable when one is the first in line for a new top government official post. The most notable case was when Kundra was placed on leave within a month of starting as CIO following an FBI raid leading to arrests on account of bribery in his DC offices. Kundra himself was not a target of the investigation.
Kundra will start in his new position as a joint fellow at the Kennedy School and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard this August. A CIO replacement has not been named yet.
- White House smart grid framework short on cybersecurity details
- White House unveils cloud-based Apps.gov in bid to fix federal IT
- NYC expands Gov 2.0 with Big Apps
- Washington finally embraces tech; the benefits will be here soon
- Getting inside a CIO's head