White House announces new Chief Technology Officer

WH Blog:

WASHINGTON, DC, March 9, 2012 –- Today, President Obama appointed Todd Park as Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO), filling a vacancy created by last month’s departure of Aneesh Chopra, the Nation’s first CTO. Mr. Park has served as CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since August 2009, where he has been an agent for change. Hired as the department’s “entrepreneur-in-residence,” Park has been helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health of all Americans. The President has asked him to bring that same approach to a broader mission – helping to replicate those and other best practices across government and bring them to scale.

President Obama created the position of U.S. Chief Technology Officer on his first day in office, noting that corporate leaders have long recognized the value of having a person responsible for ensuring that technology is being used as effectively as possible to gain operational efficiencies and ensure internal coordination and communication. The U.S. CTO is responsible for ensuring the adoption of innovative technologies to support Administration priorities, including job creation, broader access to affordable health care, enhanced energy efficiency, a more open government, and national and homeland security.

“Todd Park has demonstrated a remarkable talent for enlisting innovative technologies to modernize government, reduce waste, and make government information more accessible to the public,” said President Obama. “In his new position he will bring those skills to the entire Federal enterprise, ensuring that government will serve all Americans fairly, effectively, and efficiently.”

In his work at HHS, Mr. Park led the successful execution of an array of breakthrough initiatives, including the creation of, the first website to provide consumers with a comprehensive inventory of public and private health insurance plans available across the Nation by zip code in a single, easy-to-use tool; the development and launch of the Health Data Initiative, which is making vast amounts of information from the vaults of HHS easily downloadable by the public and third-party apps developers via; and HHSinnovates, an awards program that identifies and recognizes innovators across HHS who have improved Department operations. In 2010, he was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business for his work as HHS CTO.

The U.S. CTO’s office is situated within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where Mr. Park will work closely with U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Telecommunications Tom Power. OSTP Director and Presidential science advisor John P. Holdren announced today that Power will perform the duties of OSTP’s Associate Director for Technology—a position previously held by Chopra in conjunction with his role as U.S. CTO—while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement.

Statements of Support for White House Announcement of New Chief Technology Officer

Tim O'Reilly, CEO O'Reilly Media: "I couldn't be more enthusiastic about the choice of Todd Park as the nation's next Chief Technology Officer. Todd is brilliant, charismatic, and one of the few people who has a deep grasp of technology - especially the power in big data - and how it can be used to revolutionize government."

Gary Lauer, President and CEO, ehealth: "Todd Park is a known and recognized leader in the world of technology and health. I am very enthused over his appointment as Chief Technology Officer. Todd knows how to blend government and private sector technology to ensure the best possible outcomes of public policy goals and objectives."

Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet: "President Obama has made an outstanding choice in Todd Park as the next White House Chief Technology Officer. Todd is an entrepreneur at heart and knows how the private sector and public sector can work together to create innovation, jobs and opportunity for more Americans. We look forward to working with Todd and the Administration on the many important programs to spur cutting-edge discovery and innovation in the United States."

Hemant Taneja, Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners (Silicon Valley VC firm and co-founder of the Advanced Energy Economy and the New England Clean Economy Coalition): "President Obama made a terrific choice in appointing Todd Park as the next White House Chief Technology Officer. Todd will bring his strong public sector and entrepreneurial background to this important role and will help America's innovation sector create jobs and economic value for all of our people."

Glenn Garland, President, CLEAResult (Texas-based clean energy company): "Todd's background makes him well suited for the innovation required for this key role. His experience in the private sector will serve him well in this role since innovation in the health care sector can improve the delivery of healthcare services and lower the cost for all Americans."

Tom Zarrella, President and CEO, SustainX: "Todd Park's appointment as the White House Chief Technology Officer is an exciting positive step forward for technology development in the U.S. His successful track record and progressive forward thinking on technology are qualities that will help our country maintain its technical superiority."

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