Obama names D.C. CTO Kundra as federal CIO

President Obama today named Vivek Kundra, Washington, D.C.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

President Obama today named Vivek Kundra, Washington, D.C.'s chief technology officer, to the position of federal chief information officer.

Kundra, who previously served as a technology policy adviser for President Obama (and who ZDNet Open Source blogger Dana Blankenhorn considers "Obama's tech daddy"), will be responsible for coordinating the usage and spending of IT across government agencies, as well as creating government efficiency through information sharing while maintaining sound security and privacy practices.

In a statement, President Obama said:

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. 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.

In 2007, Kundra was appointed as Washington's CTO, a position in which he has overseen a staff of 600 and 86 agencies. As CTO of the federal district, he has been praised for making Washington's bureaucratic system more efficient and transparent through the use of technology, including applications from Google and Apple, reports CNET's Stephanie Condon. Kundra has also been able to encourage the development of the city's tech sector, according to the Washington business community.

Before becoming CTO of Washington, D.C., Kundra served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology for the state of Virginia, where his role was to use technology to maximize government efficiency and business opportunities in the state--for instance, by developing a dashboard that used business intelligence to increase citizen participation in state procurement. He also assembled the largest United States trade delegation ever to visit India.

Kundra also has experience in the private sector. He served as vice president of marketing for the identity management company Evincible Software, and advised clients on IT governance as CEO of Creostar.

Here's a January 19, 2009 video from CBS News of Kundra speaking about how Obama's inauguration team planned for increased cell phone usage in Washington:

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