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White House taps Princeton prof as deputy CTO

Edward William Felten.

Ed Felten is professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University and a former CTO at the FTC.

Ed Felten, a former chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission and now a computer science and public affairs professor at Princeton University, will be the Office of Science and Technology Policy's Deputy CTO.

Felten’s background in government and academia breaks the recent mold of senior tech appointees with private-sector resumes. Former Google executive Megan Smith was named federal chief technology officer last fall. In February, the White House named former VMWare CIO Tony Scott as federal CIO. The same month DJ Patil, formerly vice president of product at RelateIQ, was named the first-ever U.S. chief data scientist.

"Ed joins a growing number of techies at the White House working to further President Obama’s vision to ensure policy decisions are informed by our best understanding of state-of-the-art technology and innovation, to quickly and efficiently deliver great services for the American people, and to broaden and deepen the American people’s engagement with their government," said a May 11 White House statement.

Felten has been a vocal critic of some federal electronic surveillance policies and recording industry copyright practices. In 2006, he recorded and posted a video alleging security gaps in Diebold voting machines.

Felten is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton, where he is also the founding director of the Center for Information Technology Policy. In 2010, Felten took a one year leave of absence from the faculty to become the FTC's first chief technologist. He has also worked with the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on May 12, 2015 at 8:31 AM


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