Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

Summary: Steven VanRoekel's first job at Microsoft was as a premier support and presales technical advisor. On August 4, he became the new U.S. technology officer.

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Steven VanRoekel, a 15-year Microsoft veteran, has been appointed as the U.S. Chief of Information Technology.

VanRoekel is replacing Vivek Kundra, the first U.S. CIO, who announced plans in June to become a joint fellow at the Kennedy School and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

VanRoekel left Microsoft in 2009. At that time he was Senior Director of Windows Server. He also had served as a Director of Web Servvices; and a speech and strategy assistant to then CEO Bill Gates. His first job at Microsoft was as a premier support and presales technical advisor.

VanRoekel left Microsoft to become Managing Director of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In June of this year, he took a job with the U.S. Agency for International Development as Executive Director for Citizen and Organizational Engagement, according to his LinkedIn profile.

VanRoekel told the New York Times he intends to take up where Kundra left off, in terms of making the U.S. government more nimble in its approach to adopting technology. Kundra was a big advocate of cloud computing and stepping up the government's cybersecurity programs.

VanRoekel is on Twitter, by the way. He is @stevenvDC.

Topics: Software, CXO, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Security, Servers, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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31 comments
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  • Does this individual really have the right stuff for this job?

    I tend to think not.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!
    • Actually, he does have the right stuff. Obviously

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!
      those from the Linux world fall short, otherwise they would have chosen someone with that background, right?

      Of course you would say otherwise.
      William Farrell
      • Why do we even need a czar for IT?

        That's the question we should be asking. Hopefully this czar nonsense will be gone after 2012 along with their master.
        LBiege
      • Selft taught

        @William Farrell
        "His first job at Microsoft was as a premier support and presales technical advisor."

        Let me spell this out for you - He's self-taught. Hardly a quality that screams 'Right Stuff'!
        SpikeyMike
      • Selft taught

        @William Farrell
        "His first job at Microsoft was as a premier support and presales technical advisor."

        Let me spell this out for you - He's self-taught. Hardly a quality that screams 'Right Stuff'!
        SpikeyMike
      • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

        @SpikeyMike - what's he "self taught" in? The skills necessary to, first, rapidly ascend the ranks of Microsoft to achieve senior director position and spend time as BillG's chief strategy guy to then, second, become CEO of the FCC and now become CTO of the US Gov't?

        Could you please point me at the Idiot's Guides that someone would need to learn from in order to achieve such a rapid ascent through one's career?

        In FACT, Mr. VanRoekel is a very, VERY smart and capable guy with a wealth of experience and a very analytical mind. I'd rather have him as CIO than a career politician.
        bitcrazed
      • SpikeyMike: Silly man....

        Look, when I first started in IT, I was mostly self-taught, with most of my training coming from books or for learning from code and from doing. I did take some courses, but, only after I had been in the field for a long time. My knowledge was superior to those that had just come out of college with their IT/CS degrees, and I was chosen to teach and sometimes "deprogram" those newbies that were going to be working for my organization, and I was chosen for that task in 3 different companies. As supervisor and manager and consultant, I'm pretty sure that, in whatever capacity I was selected to work under, I didn't encounter that many with college training that could do a superior job than me. It's only later, when I moved up in the ranks that I could say that I wasn't as capable as the new CS/IT college graduates, because, the technology had moved on and I wasn't doing the development work anymore.

        As far as development and analysis, I'm pretty sure that I can still outshine those with formal training or college degrees.

        The skills which I picked up on my own were enough to get several degrees from any accredited college/university, but I didn't need them.
        adornoe
    • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!
      So you must know him well and worked with him extensively to make such an educated statement on his qualifications.

      Here's your well deserved hug Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!
      TGGR
    • Based on What criteria?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!

      What criteria are you using to justify your condemnation? He has experience in Government IT as well as experience in large scale enterprises. There are very few candidates with such an impressive resume. Comparing his linkedin profile to yours, you lack the right stuff to comment about his qualifications.
      Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

        @facebook@... Infinite LIKE! :)
        GoodThings2Life
      • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

        @facebook@...
        :) +1
        William Farrell
      • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

        Childish.
        daikon
  • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

    Deleted
    mm71
  • As long as he doesn't tie the gov't

    to Microsoft I'd say he's fit for the job.

    But if he's a Gung Ho MS or no way, then he's not qualified.
    itguy10
    • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

      @itguy10 ... why? Because you say so?

      Microsoft runs a majority of the world's systems, so I think he's a little late for the task of tying anyone to Microsoft.
      GoodThings2Life
      • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

        @GoodThings2Life
        No, MS does not run the majority of world's systems.
        There seems to be the potential for conflict of interest. Let's say like appointing a GM guys to decide on fuel efficiency standards.
        kirovs@...
      • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

        @kirovs
        He needs some believe that all things are Microsoft. Its better to just say okay and at the same time roll your eyes.
        daikon
      • Yes they do.

        @ kirovs@...

        According to analysts like IDC and Gartner, Windows is the overwhelmingly dominant OS in both the client (desktop/laptop) and server markets. Unix/Linux has managed to hang on in the web server niche, but that's an insignificant part of the broader server market.
        WilErz
  • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

    One word: dammit. He has no background whatsoever applicable to good cyber security, (and that includes his involvement in WS-Security), which should have been the main selection criteria these days. This is going to tick off a lot of the government techies already not too thrilled with the Fed's already poorly considered and excessive reliance on Microsoft and its army of inept developers.
    JustCallMeBC
    • RE: Former Windows Server Director now the U.S. Chief of Information Technology

      @JustCallMeBC ... Where's your proof or justification for your claim? At what time have you ever read a news article in which a government has faulted another government because they used a Microsoft product? Please. I do call you BC ... Beyond a Clue.
      GoodThings2Life