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Obama CTO frenzy: More names in the mix

with 3 comments

So there almost seems to be a frenzy around who might be named the Obama CTO.

The Industry Standard has its selections of 10 contenders (and one real long shot) for Obama’s CTO.

Frankly their list seems like mostly long-shots. Their list includes Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos — my good friend — kidding.

Most of these seem like long shots to me. First off, most of them would have to give us some of the best jobs in the world — and some of the highest paying jobs in the world. And most of them are used to being able to do what they want — they create the bureaucracy. Are they really going to have to work within the confines of government — even an Obamaized government? Finally, are those people going to be willing to fill out the Obama team’s job application form, which is seven pages long and has more than 60 questions? (The NYT has a copy of the application here. PDF)

The Industry Standard’s actual long-shot is Yahoo’s Jerry Yang, who just announced that he is stepping down from his post.

The list has some more likely names — Julius Genachowski makes their list. As the DorobekInsider told you, he part of the Obama transition leadership and is one of Obama’s former colleagues from the Harvard Law Review. Genachowski seems one of the more likely. The other candidates in their list is Sonal Shah.

Shah is one of the few rumored contenders to have actually worked in government. She currently heads global development initiatives at Google, but prior to that worked at Goldman Sachs, the Center for American Progress, and the U.S. Treasury Department. She’s also advising Obama’s transition team on the CTO search.

They also have Donald Gips

Gips is the vice president of corporate strategy and development for Level 3 Communications, and served Al Gore. Although Gips didn’t help the former vice president invent the Internet, he was Gore’s chief domestic policy advisor and has a deep understanding of technology and communication policies. He too is advisingObama’s transition team.

The Silicon Alley Insider also has a list of CTO candidates.

And Forbes.com’s list, which has been the buzz around town, includes some government IT luminaries:

  • Cisco’s Alan Balutis, who served as the Commerce Department’s chief information officer
  • Bob Gourley, the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency and now chief technology officer at advisory firm CrucialPoint.
  • Dawn Meyerriecks, a consultant in Washington, D.C., formerly CTO of the Defense Information Systems Agency.
  • Harry Raduege Jr., who was director of DISA and now chairs the Deloitte Center for Network Innovation.

More than the person — we’ll get that when we get it — I’m interested in what role the CTO will play. To that end, this afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we’re going to talk to CJD-fav Andrew McAfee, an associate professor at the Harvard Business School and the person credited with the term ‘enterprise 2.0.’ He recently post an item on his blog headlined What This Country Needs is a Chief Technology Officer .

Written by cdorobek

November 18, 2008 at 7:36 AM

3 Responses

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  1. What Obama needs is a Chief TRANSPARENCY Officer, to make sure that everyone from Wall Street to Main Street follows the same set of rules. What’s good for Main Street ought to be good enough for Wall Street.

    Kevin Cafferty

    November 18, 2008 at 2:26 PM

  2. Most of the people on your list are famous and successful in the private sector. What is needed is someone who can work behind the scenes, knows how government works, and can get things done. How about Vivek Kundra, the CTO for the District of Columbia. He’s managed a big turnaround and introduced some fabulous innovations that would turn any government on its head. He’s videoed and posted on YouTube contract negotiations, sponsored a “stock market” on IT projects that monitors progress, directed city employees to use cloud computing in lieu of desktop apps via Google, dumped hundreds of administrative data feeds onto the internet (real transparency), and sponsored a contest (Apps for Democracy) encouraging citizens to develop applications using the newly-released administrative data. These are the practical ideas where the federal government could use a champion.

    John Kamensky

    November 25, 2008 at 10:38 PM

  3. […] I have written a number of posts about it — see here… and here… and here… And on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy […]


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