After high expectations, much anticipation and speculation, on April 18, 2009, President Obama named Aneesh Paul Chopra the first-ever Federal Chief Technology Officer.
I’m sure many of us are thinking, “Déjà vu? Didn’t President Obama already appoint an IT chief in March?” Yes, Vivek Kundra is the nation’s CIO whereas Aneesh Chorpa will serve as the nation’s CTO. Here’s what the White House said:
As Chief Technology Officer, Chopra will promote technological innovation to help the country meet its goals from job creation, to reducing health care costs, to protecting the homeland. Together with Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, they will help give all Americans a government that is effective, efficient, and transparent.
Tim O’Reilly, in his excellent article Why Aneesh Chopra is a Great Choice for Federal CTO, dug a little deeper to learn from the White House that:
The responsibilities of the CIO are to use information technology to transform the ways in which the government does business. The CTO will develop national strategies for using advanced technologies to transform our economy and our society, such as fostering private sector innovation, reducing administrative costs and medical errors using health IT, and using technology to change the way teachers teach and students learn.