April 18th, 2009 | Published in Google Public Policy
President Obama's appointment today of Aneesh Chopra as the country's first Chief Technology Officer is an important step in bringing the federal government's information systems into the 21st century. As Virginia's technology czar Aneesh has been relentless in applying technology to make government work better for citizens -- from requiring state government agencies to make their sites more crawlable, to integrating iTunes with the state's educational system.
Some have said that the appointment should have gone to someone from Silicon Valley. We disagree. Chopra's record of being unafraid to experiment and push government to better serve citizens bodes well for his performance in facing difficult challenges and great opportunities.
It's easy to forget that the appointment of a Chief Information Officer -- Vivek Kundra -- and a Chief Technology Officer in the Administration are big steps forward in the federal government's efforts to make government more responsive to citizens. Vivek and Aneesh will be a strong, forward-looking team.