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FCW Insider: Three quick takes on Aneesh Chopra

Here is the early buzz on Obama’s selection of Aneesh Chopra to serve as the federal government’s chief technology officer:

* Blogger Tim O’Reilly gives Chopra high marks, based on his work as the Secretary of Technology for Virginia.

“I've been working for much of the past year to understand what many have been calling Government 2.0, and in that process, Chopra has been one of those who have taught me the most about how we can build a better government with the help of technology,” O’Reilly writes.

His top qualification: Chopra has spent the last three years focused specifically on government. “Industry experience does little to prepare you for the additional complexities of working within the bounds of government policy, competing constituencies, budgets that often contain legislative mandates, regulations that may no longer be relevant but are still in force, and many other unique constraints,” says O’Reilly.

* TechPresident blogger Micah L. Sifry also applauds the choice. In particular, “it looks like very good news for the transparency movement, as well as those of us looking for an open-minded leader willing to experiment with new forms of collaborative governance.”

Sifry, like others, notes that Virginia has been a pioneer in using Internet technology to track stimulus-related spending – and to get feedback from citizens on how it should be spent.

* Amy Schatz, writing on the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog, reports that industry groups are more than pleased with Obama’s pick.

“Silicon Valley execs and tech bloggers sounded genuinely excited about Obama’s choice Saturday morning and tech industry lobbying groups TechNet and the Business Software Alliance quickly released statements of support, as did several tech heavyweights.”

But Schatz also observes that some people were disappointed that CTO would not be a cabinet-level post, but an assistant to the president who, on the org chart, resides in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Apr 20, 2009 at 12:14 PM


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