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27 January 2012 by Yevgeniy Sverdlik - DatacenterDynamics
The US federal government’s first CTO Aneesh Chopra has stepped down from his post, the White House announced Friday. Chopra has been CTO and assistant to President Barack Obama – who created the position on his first day in office – since May 2009.
Chopra is expected to run for lieutenant governor in Virginia, according to a Washington Post report which cited Democrats familiar with his plan but who wished to remain anonymous. A replacement for Chopra in the White House has not been announced.
The president created Chopra’s position as part of his Strategy for American Innovation, announced publicly in September 2009, according to a blog post by John Holgren, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“As the federal government’s first Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century,” Obama said in a statement. “Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records.”
Obama’s Strategy for American Innovation seeks to strengthen the country’s economic growth by investing in education, research, infrastructure and IT, providing tax credits for R&D efforts by businesses, strengthening intellectual property policy and promoting open and competitive markets.
The strategy includes support and promotion of clean-energy, biotech, nanotech and advanced manufacturing, development of space applications, healthcare technologies and educational technologies.
As the federal CTO, Chopra was part of a team that ignited a bottom-up reform of the way the federal government does IT. The team – led by Vivek Kundra, whom Obama appointed as the first federal CIO but who has since left the White House to work in the private sector – forced the government to reimagine the way it buys IT services, acquires IT infrastructure and builds data centers.
Kundra joined Salesforce.com as executive VP of emerging markets, the provider of cloud-based business software announced earlier this month.