O'Reilly: Chopra is the Government 2.0 choice for CTO

O'Reilly: Chopra is the Government 2.0 choice for CTO

Summary: Is the pick of Aneesh Chopra as the nation's CTO a snub for Silicon Valley? After all, Chopra comes from Virginia state government and CIO Vivek Kundra was most recently in D.


Is the pick of Aneesh Chopra as the nation's CTO a snub for Silicon Valley? After all, Chopra comes from Virginia state government and CIO Vivek Kundra was most recently in D.C. government. You'll recall in the midst of the speculation about who Obama would pick for these posts, I poo-poo'd the idea that the pick would be someone like Bill Joy. And in fact, Obama went not to Silicon Valley but to local government.

That's a good choice for the reasons I outlined at the time.

The CTO job is a political job, a bureaucratic job. The person who succeeds in that job will be someone who can bring an entrepreneurial spirit into a government setting. They will have to familiar with the CTO positions at the whole range of federal agencies; they will have to know their way around Washington to some extent; they will know how to work with large, combative constituencies; and they will expect to be held accountable.

Tim O'Reilly lays out a number of specific reasons that Chopra is the right guy for the job. You can read his full list, but the basic point is that Chopra and Kundra have a track record in making Government 2.0 a reality.

Check out Tim's list of Gov2 items that Chopra has accomplished in Viriginia.

  • the first officially-approved open source textbook in the country, the Physics Flexbook.
  • integrating iTunes U with Virginia's state education assessment framework;
  • the Learning Apps Development Challenge, a competition for the best iPhone and iPod Touch applications for middle-school math teaching;
  • a Ning-based social network to connect clinicians working in small health care offices in remote locations;
  • a state-funded "venture capital fund" to allow government agencies to try out risky but promising new approaches to delivering their services or improving their productivity;
  • a lightweight approval and testing process that allows the government to try out new technologies before making a full, expensive commitment.

Bottom line:

Aneesh Chopra is a rock star. He's a brilliant, thoughtful change-maker. He knows technology, he knows government, and he knows how to put the two together to solve real problems. We couldn't do better.

Topics: Software, CXO, Enterprise Software, Government, Government US, Health, IT Employment

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  • Who are these guys? H1Bs?

    If so, we COULD do better. I seem to remember some recent news about Mr. Kundra being implicated in some legally doubtful activities? Let's get off the "politically correct" bandwagon already -- there are plenty of good 'ole American boys (& girls), who are law-abiding and could do this job equally well as these imports. AMERICA FIRST.
    • I think citizens are by definition AMERICAN (nt)

      (beyond that your comment is beneath contempt)
      • Well said

        Exactly the right response, Richard. +1.
    • Amerika First??

      Well, let's see... Would you like Americans like these??
      - John Yoo (Korean born http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Yoo)
      - Arnold Schwarzenegger (Austrian born http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schwarzenegger)
      - Super K (German born http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger)

      Beyond that, we had *plenty* of "good 'ole American boys and girls" in the last administration and where are things now? Well, the economy's screwed up; the stock market crashed; housing prices bubbled up and burst; one pointless war drags on; the opponents in another war rebuilt while "W" fiddled; the government commits the same war crimes it trys to convict other governments of; cronyism runs rampant in government contracts; need I list more? We've had enough people whose only apparent selection qualification is their "good-ole-boy" factor. I'm quite happy to see someone with a track record of accomplishments selected, even if their last name doesn't suit the tastes of current crop of neo-rascists.
      Dave S2
    • What Qualifies as "offensive"?

      Richard's one-liner really should have been enough but for the deeply demeaning nature of this comment which casually slanders Kundra and insults the many came from all over the world and built (albeit in America) the technologies that has made the global village a reality. How more offensive could this crude opinion be?
  • RE: O'Reilly: Chopra is the Government 2.0 choice for CTO

    Well oh well, America means people from round the world. It does not have its own identity. It like this mixture of some of the best talents in the world and some who lost their charm due to misuse of their authorities(wont tell who).

    A good decision at the right time, could save a lot of bad things from happening.
  • What a load of crap

    Does ZDNet rubber stamp everything that Obama does ? They praised Vivek up and down and we saw what happened there. He was a scumbag....like the other drones Obama hires. Now this new guy is just what we need....another bureaucrat who problem can't find a power button on a PC. I need to stop reading what ZDNet puts out !
    • That is nonsense

      Vivek had nothing to do with, had no knowledge of the criminal activity in his office.