Obama Taps 34-Year-Old Whiz Kid As America's CIO*


During his tenure as CTO of Washington DC, Vivek Kundra, 34, moved to put government videos on YouTube (GOOG) and encourage staff to post to Twitter. Now Vivek gets a promotion: Today Presdent Obama tapped Vivek as the first “federal chief information officer”.

Not to split hairs, but there’s been widespread speculation over who might be named as “America’s CTO,” a position still outstanding.

WashPost: The newly created federal position will operate under the auspices of the White House. Kundra, 34, is expected to oversee how government agencies purchase and use information technology and will be in charge of all federal technology spending. He also will be responsible for making sure agencies’ networks and systems work together and share information while maintaining security and privacy standards…

Kundra will have budgetary authority to launch entirely new systems within government departments, or kill existing multimillion-dollar IT projects. His decisions could have a large impact on government contractors, such as SAIC and Booz Allen Hamilton, that have come to provide the bulk of IT services to agencies.

He also will be charged with using technology to lower the cost of government operations and making government data more accessible to citizens, two things he championed as the District’s chief technology officer. In that role, he got attention for letting independent developers create online applications using government information, for example, posting training videos on YouTube and creating an internal “wiki” site called DCpedia, for employees.

Image David Clow / Flickr

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