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Leavitt as CTO? Probably not.

Is there any chance that Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt could become the Obama administration's chief technology officer? Blogger Phil Windley says no -- but thinks Leavitt would be a great choice anyway.


On his blog, Technometria, Windley makes a brief case for Leavitt: "He understands technology very well and relates it well to policy. He’d be an able spokesman. I can imagine no one better," Windley wrote. But ... Leavitt is a Republican. So completely Republican, in fact, that he could end up becoming chairman of the Republican National Committee.


(Given that Obama has expressed a willingness to cross party lines in filling his cabinet, we're not convinced that that's a deal-breaker ... but Windley seems to be.)


Windley, himself CTO at e-commerce company Kynetx, has some thoughts on what the federal CTO's role should entail.


To be qualified, you need to (1) pass the ethics tests, (2) understand how technology relates to government and the public in a wide range of areas, and (3) be a policy wonk. Items (1) and (3) disqualify most of the people who’ve been suggested.


Actually, (2) may disqualify most of the people who have been suggested too. We're not sure how someone who hasn't been in government or at least very closely connected to government for some years can meet that criterion.


 

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 at 12:12 PM


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