Obama expected to name Kundra OMB e-gov and technology head

The White House is widely expected to name Vivek Kundra administrator for e-government and information technology in the Office of Management and Budget, the position Karen Evans held in the later years of the Bush administration. Kundra is currently the chief technology officer for the District of Columbia. The position is essentially the government's chief information officer.

Kundra would oversee the federal government’s $70 billion IT budget, two dozen e-government initiatives, information security and privacy efforts, and nine lines of business, including for financial management and human resources. As e-gov and IT chief, Kundra also would lead the federal CIO Council.

Kundra has experience with the technology needs in state and local government and has implemented innovative changes in his position as Washington, D.C.’s CTO, said Dave McClure, managing vice president at Gartner and a former director of IT management issues at the Government Accountability Office.

For example, on the D.C. government Web site, citizens can pull up interactive maps to see crime rate statistics in different areas, including their neighborhoods, and look at the performance measurements of city services, he said. This kind of application could transfer to the federal government, he noted.

“With this administration so focused on openness and transparency and innovation, those kinds of things will mesh him nicely,” McClure said. Kundra had also been active in the Obama transition advising its technology innovation and government reform team, he said.

Kundra’s name had ranked high on published lists of individuals who might be named as the administration’s chief technology officer. Aneesh Chopra, the Virginia’s technology secretary, has also been mentioned in published reports as a top possibility for the CTO position, especially if Kundra is appointed to OMB.

Before becoming D.C.’s CTO in 2007, Kundra was assistant secretary of commerce and technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia under Gov. Tim Kaine, a dual role cabinet position in which Kundra implemented business process changes to streamline the state government while also promoting business opportunities, according to his biography on the D.C. government Web site. Kundra served as director of infrastructure technology for Arlington, Va.

Kundra also has private sector experience, having been vice president for Evincible Software, which provided identity management services. Kundra received his masters and bachelors degrees from the University of Maryland.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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