April 11, 2009

No Federal Chief Technology Officer, Yet

During his election campaign, President Barack Obama used technology in unprecedented ways. In addition, he promised that, as president, he would name a Chief Technology Officer, to move the federal government into 21st century.

However today, nearly 100 days into his term, the President has yet to name a such an Officer, reports TechCrunch:
[I]t’s confusing as to why the President is taking his sweet time to appoint a CTO, when there are clear issues that a CTO could be working on. For starters, there are tech-centric issues like the FCC’s National Broadband Plan to give all American’s high speed Internet access, and the DTV Delay Act, which was signed into law in early February. There’s the Open Government initiative, through Change.gov, which seems to be in a stalemate. And certainly a CTO could lend his or her expertise and leadership in incorporating technology into the President’s health-care, education and energy initiatives. Take a look at the technology issues page of the White House’s website for a more extensive to-do list awaiting our future CTO.

As the FCC has just called for a discussion on a national broadband plan. It would have been good to have a CTO on board to guide this discussion. I hope the Administration fills this position in a timely manner.

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