President Barack Obama has named India-born Vivek Kundra the US Federal government's Chief Information Officer: It is a newly created post to direct Information Technology policy and strategic planning for the government., ensuring information sharing, security and privacy across federal agencies.
"As CIO, (Vivek) will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open and efficient way possible", Obama said, March 5
Formerly Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia ( the US capital district), Kundra, 34, was born in Delhi, and moved to Tanzania , before moving with his family to the US when he was 11. According to Wikipedia, he was honoured by InfoWorld as one of the world's top 25 CTOs and as the IT Executive of the Year, 2008. He holds a degree in psychology, a masters in Information Technology ( University of Maryland) and is a graduate in political leadership ( University of Virginia).
In Washington, Kundra is credited with pushing government towards Web 2.0, moving nearly 40,000 employee PCs to embrace cloud computing, open source software, and social channels like You Tube and Twitter to reach out to the taxpayer.He also helped set up an IT monitoring model to track all public spending projects in Washington DC. The Washington Post called his "DC's kinetic Tech Czar" and credited him with bringing transparency to Washington's healthcare, crime rates and police response time statistics.
Talking to reporters soon after his appointment, Kundra said a central theme was that government needed to stop thinking it was special and instead design customised systems ( using off the shelf software) for each problem( March 5/ New York Times)
The San Jose Mercury News, voice of the US Silicon Valley quotes "Government Technology" ( Tod Newcombe):
"Kundra's enthusiasm for technology as a powerful enabler and transformer, not just as plumbing to keep static government programs alive, marks a sea change in attitude regarding the business of government in the 21st century".
Link to White House announcement: