White House Names First CIO

President Obama named a youthful, Indian-born techno-whiz as his first federal chief information officer. They selected Vivek Kundra, 34, the chief technology officer for the District of Columbia with oversight of technology in 86 District agencies, to the federal position. The main task is to look for ways to lower the cost of government operations through technology. Over the last 19 months moved to post city contracts on YouTube and to make Twitter use common in his office. He hopes to allow drivers to pay parking tickets or renew their driver’s licenses on FaceBook. He now will be expected to oversee a push to expand uses of cutting-edge technology. He will have wide powers over federal technology spending, over information sharing between agencies, over greater public access to government information and over questions of security and privacy. He has a background of a Master’s of Science in information technology from the University of Maryland, previously served as assistant secretary of commerce and technology in Virginia. InfoWorld magazine has called him one of the 25 top chief technology officers in the country. When he spoke he want to hit the ground running with plans and interests, including his intention to extend the use of “cloud computing” in the federal government and to create a data.gov web site that will put vast amounts of government information into the public domain.

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