When President Obama came into office in January 2009, the Administration found a Federal government relying too heavily on 20th century technology. On his first day on the job, the President created the position of “Chief Technology Officer” to modernize our government while helping the country meet its goals from job creation, to reducing health care costs, to protecting the homeland.
Aneesh Chopra was sworn in as the Nation’s first Chief Technology Officer on May 22, 2009. When the President announced his “Strategy for American Innovation” in September 2009, he said, “That's why I've appointed the first-ever chief technology officer, charged with looking at ways technology can spur innovations that help government do a better and more efficient job.”
Aneesh has led that charge in an energetic, innovative, and amazingly effective manner, and sowed the seeds necessary to bring our government into the 21st century.
Working with Aneesh for nearly three years has been an invigorating experience. Among a dizzying array of accomplishments, Aneesh helped design the President’s National Wireless Initiative, including the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network, establish a set of Internet Policy Principles including the call for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and led the implementation of the President’s open government strategy focused on unlocking the innovative potential of the federal government to solve problems and seed the jobs and industries of the future.
I want to personally thank him for his leadership, friendship, and—most importantly—for his dedication and work on behalf of the American people.
John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy