What Should The New U.S. CTO Do?

20 Comments

aneesh-chopraPresident Obama last week appointed Aneesh Chopra, until recently Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, as the CTO of the United States. Unlike Vivek Kundra (now the U.S. CIO) and Cisco Systems (s CSCO) CTO Padmasree Warrior, Chopra has a lower profile. Tech-industry insiders, such as inventor Mitch Kapor, venture capitalist John Doerr and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, have hailed his appointment. I’m sure Chopra would make a good CTO, but I don’t envy his job. Given that there are so many chiefs in the Obama administration — science, information, health care, social innovation — I wonder what his real job description will be. I’m looking forward to talking to him soon and finding out more about his agenda. What do you guys think should be at the top of Chopra’s to-do list?

20 Comments

Francis

Chopra’s appointment is good for VoIP.

He transformed the phone systems at Commonwealth of Virginia offices to fully hosted and trunking on the BroadSoft platform. Federal offices could be next.

rohit

1. Come out to Silicon Valley for a GeekHall meeting.
2. Reduce friction towards a faster net for everyone.
3. Speak truth to lobby-powers.

james kim

2 things:
technology education
incentives for technology improvements/investments by businesses, individuals

Jeff

Faster internet. And in all markets, one of two things:
1: Competition
OR
2: PSC oversite on rates to prevent gouging.

Jet

The biggest problem we all face is energy supplies.

The Oil Price Spike in July 2008 is what killed the world economy. The world economy crashed so hard that oil demand is down so far that oil prices collapsed. The Crash has killed off all the world’s banks and most of the car companies. The only thing which stopped complete chaos was huge government bailouts and stimulus. If they do manage to get the world economy growing again (big if) Oil Prices will just Spike again and crash things harder. Oil production has peaked at around 85 million barrels / day – but the 3rd world wants high living standards also. That would require 4 or 5 times more oil 400 million barrels / day.

If someone does not find some way to replace oil with solar / biomass energy system we are all doomed and we will watch the end of civilization on our big screens………

The only thing which will solve the energy problem is technology. The very best and most focused technical efforts are required.

This is the only thing Obama and all the other world leaders should be worried about and focused on.

vishal

make sure that legal immigrants are taken care of… its insane how many talented technologist will leave this country in 2009 due to visa and GC woes…. i think since he is the CTO. he should make sure that the best technical talent is made the best use of in creating more jobs rather than buried in some company somewhere for 8-10 years to get a GC.

Nitin Borwankar

a) Ask every govt department to justify why it should be using proprietary software – if justification not satisfactory – move to open source – this includes especially MS Office vs Open Office.org. This is the taxpayers money after al and we should have the ability to ask these questions.

b) Create a search engine for finding all software that has been created through govt (NSF, NIH etc) funding ( such a thing doesn’t exists and vast amount sof software created by taxpayer money cannot be found easily ).

c) Make the technology procurement process transparent and simple

[[ maybe some of this overlaps with the CIO role – not sure ]]

Brandon Mendelson

Assuming his specific job duties are cleared up?

1. Generate a policy on net neutrality (if it is deemed necessary)
2. Examine how social networks can be better integrated within the framework of the federal government to reduce expenses and improve efficiency.

Rob Blatt

He should act in the best interests of the government in terms of upgrading the technology that’s used on US internal systems. The government’s computer and technology systems are woefully behind the times. They never had an advocate from inside the government to update systems to increase efficiency. That should be his first task.

Rob Blatt

He should act in the best interests of the government in terms of upgrading the technology that’s used on US internal systems. The government’s computer and technology systems are woefully behind the times. They never had an advocate from inside the government to update systems to increase efficiency. That should be his first task.

John J

He should resign and lobby Obama to stop creating more unconstitutional government positions.

Doc Searls

Two quick thoughts.

1) Break free of expensive, exlusive and favored tech and service suppliers.

2) Do that by requiring that tech and services be substitutable. This will pretty much require that they also be open. But substitutability is key. It’s how to escape lock-in.

Raghu

Interestingly, I would say the No 1 job for Aneesh should be to first understand what he controls in the government and what his job scope is from a RACI perspective, since I agree that is so unclear -:) Without that, he is destined for a tough time, and unfortunately will face lots of frustration with failure…..so that would be my top advice for him!

Hopefully, he can then get to the real meat of the job in formulating the technology vision and strategy for the government with an execution roadmap, for whatever he controls!

Usually Named

Find a nifty outfit. Can’t let the Surgeon General have all the cool clothing.

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