Meet the Government's new CIO: Vivek Kundra

vivek-kundraMany in Washington are excited about Obama’s new Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, and it is easy to see why. This 34 year old technologist has a unique approach to technology in government:

  1. On Moving to the cloud: “The cloud will do for government what the Internet did in the’ 90s. . .  It’s a fundamental change to the way our government operates by moving to the cloud. Rather than owning the infrastructure, we can save millions.”
  2. On Transparency and Government data: “Why does the government keep information secret?  Why not put it all out in the government domain. [Since arriving] I’ve made all the government databases public.  Every 311 call, every abandoned automobile, who has responded, etc.  It provides high-level oversight of the daily tasks of government.”
  3. On Crowd-Sourcing using initiatives like Apps for Democracy: “You democratize the data and challenge the public.  Applications we never imagined were created.  It totally changed the way we deploy technology in the DC government.  We can unearth innovation and talent, and learn how technology can advance the public agenda.”

You can see why advocates of open government are excited about Kundra.  We think that this is a huge step in the direction of transparency. We wish Mr. Kundra success in his new position.

Hat Tip: Nextgov