President Obama on Saturday finally announced his choice for the nation's first chief technology officer, and the name no doubt came as a surprise to many who had expected a marquee member from a high-tech industry segment. Obama's pick, Aneesh Chopra, instead of hailing from Silicon Valley or a telecom firm, comes from the state government arena. Chopra currently is the secretary of technology for the State of Virginia.
The move in that sense echoes Obama's choice for the country's chief information officer, Vivek Kundra, who also came not directly from an industry post, but from a job in municipal government (as Washington, D.C.'s CIO). Obama announced Chopra as his CTO choice during his weekly radio address, but beyond saying that Chopra will work closely with Kundra and others, and that he will have some sort of hand in broadband expansion initiatives, neither Obama nor related Whote House statements have indicated any specific goals for the CTO post.
Still, the choice was lauded over the weekend by many technology executives, such as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who himself had been thought to be a possible candidate for the job, and technology industry groups. Chopra's actual title will be associate director for technology under the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy office.
- The Wall Street Journal has this story
Supposedly, Kundra and Padmasree Warrior for up for the U.S. CTO (but maybe not?)
Kundra was picked for the national CIO job last month