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Updated: Earlier this morning, veteran technology journalist John Dvorak posted an article on his blog with the headline: Is U.S. Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra a Phony? The report investigates Kundra’s background — both educational and professional — and finds some gaps. For instance, Dvorak couldn’t find any records of Kundra’s Masters degree in information technology. Update: Chip Cassano, a University of Maryland University College spokesman, confirmed that Kundra graduated from the school with a Masters of Science in Information Systems Management. There are several other issues — you are better off reading the entire article.
It is quite a shocker: I recently chatted with Kundra about cloud computing. I reached out to the White House and a spokesperson dismissed the article as “a gross smear” on Kundra and called it “highly inaccurate.” The spokesperson said that Kundra has excelled at his job as the U.S. CIO.
According to the spokesperson, the doubts might have arisen from the fact that Kundra went to University of Maryland’s University College instead of College Park. Those are two different colleges within the University of Maryland system. “If you are going to make such charges, make sure you call us and take the time to educate yourself,” said the spokesperson. “It is a lie.”
Dvorak is just flat-out wrong — or at least that was the gist of the conversation I just had with Kundra. He called back and said that it was clear that “someone was spinning partial truths.” He welcomed anyone to check with University of Maryland’s University College and said they will find that not only did he graduate from the University College, but also that he was adjunct faculty member. He was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland’s College Park location. That confusion is reflected on Kundra’s Wikipedia bio. As noted above, we checked with the UMUC and they told us that Kundra did indeed graduate in 2001 with an MS in information Systems Management. When I asked Kundra about his startup, Creostar, he said he never claimed it to be a billion-dollar company. He started it before getting a gig with the Commonwealth of Virginia.