March 9, 2009

Kundra picked as country's first CIO

The Obama administration has named Vivek Kundra to be the nation's first Chief Information Officer:

The White House said Thursday that it had selected Vivek Kundra, 34, the chief technology officer for the District, to the federal position, where he 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.

I have previously mentioned some of the interesting things Kundra has been doing in D.C:

In October, he launched a contest called "Apps for Democracy" to encourage developers to create applications for the Web and cellphones to give District residents access to city data such as crime reports and pothole repair schedules.

"I expected to get maybe 10 entries, but we got 47 apps in 30 days," Kundra said. He said he spent $50,000 for the contest and prize money, and estimates he saved $2.6 million over what it would have cost to hire contract developers.

Hopefully some of his creativity will manifest itself in opening up the halls of government for all to see.