Bush hires first CTO

"Citizen-Centered E-Government: Developing the Action Plan"

Former U.S. Postal Service official Norman Lorentz began work this month as the Office of Management and Budget's first chief technology officer.

Lorentz, who was hired last month, will work under Mark Forman, OMB's associate director for information technology and e-government. In November, Forman told Federal Computer Week that he wanted a CTO to help oversee the integration and implementation of new commercial technologies into the overall e-government agenda.

Lorentz will lead multiple teams to identify and develop emerging technology to support federal IT and e-government projects, according to Jennifer Wood, an OMB spokeswoman. This includes the 23 e-government initiatives released by the Bush administration in October, which are intended to open a new era of cross-agency cooperation to improve services to the public and eliminate redundant systems.

"As the CTO, he's basically going to be a chief technology architect for the federal government," Wood said.

Lorentz returns to government after leaving his position as the Postal Service's first CTO in 1999 for a similar job at EarthWeb Inc., a business-to-business Internet portal now called Dice Inc. At the Postal Service, Lorentz led the agency's initiative to create an integrated "information platform" to improve customer service, a program that is still under way.

Prior to joining USPS, Lorentz served in several positions at USWest from 1976 to 1994. Originally from Silver Spring, Md., he holds a master's in business administration from Arizona State University and a bachelor's degree in computer science and sociology from Regis University.

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