The 02.03.2008 CTO update: Buzz about appointments
You can often tell that there are developments around a certain subject because a certain buzz starts to develop around that topic. The challenge for journalists is that the buzz doesn’t always mean that something will happen, but generally things don’t happen if you don’t hear that buzz — if that makes any sense at all.
The DorobekInsider is starting to pick up buzz around the CTO job.
The latest discussion is that DC CTO Vivek Kundra will be named the Office of Management and Budget’s administrator of the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology. The Obama chief technology officer job will apparently be assigned to the White House Office of Science, Technology Policy, an office that has historically been much more policy focused and, frankly, very quiet to be almost unnoticed — perhaps undeservedly so.
There seems to be a growing consensus that the CTO job will be much less then what most people had been making it out to be — almost marginalized from the policy-making authority and the budget influence, most of which are almost essential to get things done. Instead, much of the authority will be with the OMB administrator of e-government. Frankly, I had been supposing that they would do something similar to what they did with the chief performance officer — and give two titles to what is really one job. In Nancy Killefer‘s case, the OMB deputy director for management also carries the “chief performance officer” title. I had been expecting that they would have some position — most likely the OMB administrator of e-government — also serve as the CTO.
I have been hearing for weeks that Team Obama was trying to resolve the White House IT centers — the office of e-government (often referred to as “the Karen Evans job), the Office of Science and Technology Policy, OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which historically has had a heavy hand in IT issues and could play a significant role in any “open government data” initiatives, and, of course, the mostly undefined Obama CTO.
As stated in the CRS report on the Obama CTO , there needs to be some organizational structure around all those pieces… and what people have said publicly, we simply don’t know.
As we say on the radio, stay tuned… That being said, I’m hearing that a decision has been announced internally and that they would wait for a good time to announce it, possibly sometime this week.
Read Kundra’s bio… after the break.
As promised, Kundra’s bio from the DC CTO Web site .
Chief Technology Officer, District of Columbia Government
Vivek Kundra was appointed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on March 27, 2007 to the Cabinet post of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the District of Columbia. As CTO, Kundra leads the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), an organization of over 600 staff that provides technology services and leadership for 86 agencies, 38,000 employees, residents, businesses, and millions of visitors.
Kundra brings to the role of CTO a diverse record that combines technology and public policy experience in government, private industry, and academia.
Before Kundra came to the District, Governor Timothy M. Kaine appointed him Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the first dual cabinet role in the state’s history. Kundra developed technology innovations to streamline government and enhance business opportunity, including a dashboard that uses business intelligence to maximize the participation of citizens in state procurement. In 2007 he assembled the largest United States trade delegation ever to visit India, comprised of over one hundred business leaders, which resulted in a $99 million investment for the state.
In the private sector, Kundra led technology companies serving national and international customers. He served as Vice President of Marketing for Evincible Software, a company focused on electronic signatures and identity management for the financial services and defense sectors. As CEO of Creostar, he advised clients in government and industry on IT governance and strategy.
Earlier Kundra served as Director of Infrastructure Technology for Arlington, Virginia. Within nine months after taking the post on September 11, 2001, he built the first high-speed municipal I-Net in the country. He also advanced business and economic development in Arlington, Zurich, Paris, Berlin and Wales through the World Cities Alliance.
Kundra has also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland, teaching courses in the theory and application of new technologies ranging from wireless protocols to artificial intelligence.
Kundra holds an MS in information technology and a BS in psychology from the University of Maryland. He is also a graduate of University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.
Since Kundra became District CTO, he and OCTO have been honored with a series of major information technology (IT) awards. In 2008, InfoWorld Magazine named Kundra among its “CTO 25,” 25 senior IT leaders from government, nonprofits, and private industry who apply creativity, tech savvy and management skills to drive excellent results. In addition, the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium recognized Kundra among outstanding IT innovators who use leadership skills, business-technology acumen and out-of the-box thinking to address ever-increasing challenges facing their organizations.