Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vivek Kundra: Obama's first federal IT chief.

Vivek Kundra is the current Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the United States of America. He has indicated that he will also have the role of the Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and information technology. He served in Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's cabinet as the Chief Technology Officer for the District and, before that, as Virginia's Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology in Governor Kaine's cabinet.

Early Life
Vivek Kundra was born in New Delhi, India. His parents immigrated to Tanzania, where he grew up. Kundra speaks Swahili as his first language. His family moved to the United States when he was 11 and he grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

He has been recognized by InfoWorld among the top 25 CTO's in the country and as the 2008 IT Executive of the Year for his pioneering work to drive transparency, engage citizens and lower the cost of government operations. 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 of Virginia.

He has been recognized for his work in developing programs to spur open source and crowdsourced applications using publicly accessible Web services from the District of Columbia with an initiative called Apps for Democracy. His efforts to use cloud-based Web applications in the District government have been considered innovative within government.

Mr. Kundra is advising President Barack Obama's transition committee on technology issues.
He was reportedly considered as one of the possible candidates for the position of Federal Chief Technology Officer[9] as well as other positions. However he was officially named by President Obama on March 5, 2009 to the newly-created post of Federal CIO. (The Chief Technology Officer and the Chief Information Officer have different roles.)

Kundra earned a degree in psychology and a masters degree in information technology from the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.


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