Obama Appoints CIO and FCC Chairman

Yesterday, President Obama officially announced that Vivek Kundra would serve as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) (external link) at the White House. The CIO is "responsible for oversight of federal technology spending" and "oversees enterprise architecture to ensure system interoperability and information sharing and ensure information security and privacy across the federal government". Kundra will work closely with the Chief Technology Officer that Obama has yet to appoint. Kundra is a known open source and cloud-based application supporter.

Earlier this week, President Obama nominated Julius Genachowski (external link) to chair the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the organisation that would presumably carryout net neutrality regulations. Genachowski was the man behind shaping Obama's technology policies, which included strong support for net neutrality. It is expected that he will push for net neutrality regulations as chairman of the FCC.

At Lowter, we closely watch the net neutrality debate in the US and are huge supporters of maintaining an open and free web. Read my article Net Neutrality: Preserving the Free Internet in order to understand why net neutrality regulation is vital for a successful Internet. I am extremely pleased to see that Obama has picked a net neutrality backer to head the FCC. I personally am not familiar with Kundra's opinion on net neutrality, but he appears to be very progressive and a great pick for the CIO.

We are still waiting for Obama to appoint a Chief Technology Officer that he promised he would during his campaign.


  • A few stories are reporting that Kundra is the new CTO, but that was not the official announcement from Obama. From what I understand the CIO and the CTO are different offices because the press release says "The CIO will also work closely with the Chief Technology Officer to advance the Presidentâs technology agenda." If anyone finds out otherwise, we can make the correction here.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Fri 6 Mar 2009 at 20:54