April 20, 2009

Obama announces Chopra as new CTO

President Obama, following up on a campaign pledge to appoint a Chief Technology Officer in his administration, has named Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh P. Chopra to the position.

The response has been pretty positive. Noted technology writer Tim O'Reilly had this to say about the nomination:

Chopra demonstrates a deep understanding of the idea that the government is an enabler, not the ultimate solution provider. From the list of initiatives above, you can see that Chopra grasps the power of open source software, Web 2.0, user-participation, and why it's better to harness the ingenuity of a developer community than to specify complete top-down solutions. In a conversation with me a couple of months ago, he expressed his enthusiasm for the idea of a "digital commonwealth," a recognition that technology can help us to come together as a society to solve problems and create value through common effort.

TechPresident says that the nomination is a great step forward for transparency.

Chopra's accomplishments include opening up state websites in Virginia so they could be more readily searchable by citizens. He also has expertise in healthcare technology, something which is undoubtedly going to be important in the coming years.

All in all this is a good development in the "Government 2.0" movement. Hopefully the promises become reality.