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United States Government IT Politics News

DC CTO Vivek Kundra Named To Top Federal IT Job 105

DCTechCzar writes "The Obama administration plans to announce it has appointed Vivek Kundra, the District of Columbia's chief technology officer, to take the top information technology post in the federal government, according to a source. Kundra, who has deployed advanced applications to improve the performance of public services during his nearly two years as CTO for the District, will replace Karen Evans as administrator for e-government and information technology in the Office of Management and Budget. The position effectively serves as the federal government's chief information officer. The administration could announce Kundra's appointment as soon as Thursday."
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DC CTO Vivek Kundra Named To Top Federal IT Job

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  • Interesting that they're trying to open up the government more via the internet, however does he have any plans to do anything else?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @09:18AM (#26735887)

      Yup, he's like all CTO's...

      Takes credit for what his people did.

      "He deployed" my ass he deployed. He did not do shit other than approve the research and work his people did.

      He sat on his ass and took the credit, I did not see him pulling any cable, setting up the servers and working on the application deployment.

      Posting Anon to keep from getting fired. A DC IT worker.

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @09:28AM (#26735981)
      Well, just playing the law of averages.. I'd be willing to guess this guy has some unpaid taxes!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by GovTechGuy ( 1267056 )
      Try this link [nextgov.com] for more information.
    • Yes, the city of dc did a lot to democratize data for citizens while Kundra was CTO. It was part of their Capstat project. You can see some of DC's data as part of that project here: http://www.tableausoftware.com/blog/Vivek-kundra-dc-cto-take-obama-CTO-post [tableausoftware.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    As to how many thousands of unpaid back taxes this appointment has?

    • Absolutely NONE. You can bet on it that after Geither showed up with issues that ALL APPOINTMENTS after that were VETTED HARD.
      • You mean like Tom Daschle?
          • But his nomination was submitted to the Senate on the 20th of last month which was AFTER both of those nominees had their scandals come up. Don't you think they would have been smart enough to do some double checking after that point so as to avoid another huge embarrassment? It would seem that if two tax cheats make it through the original vetting process, that I'd be mulling back over the ones I'm about to send out no matter how well I thought they were the first time around.
            • No. He was sent to the senate on Dec 11th. More importantly, I doubt that he realized that the driver would be an issue.
              • No. He was sent to the senate on Dec 11th.

                No, it wasn't. December 11th was when Obama announced that he would be nominating Daschle, that wasn't when the nomination was submitted. It was submitted on the 20th of January and the official records back me up. From: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/nomis.html [loc.gov]

                Nomination: PN64-03-111 Date Received: January 20, 2009 (111st Congress) Nominee: Thomas Andrew Daschle, of South Dakota, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Referred to: Senate Finance Legislative Actions Committee Action: January 08, 2009 - Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Hearings held prior to introduction and/or referral. Floor Action: January 20, 2009 - Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Finance. Organization: Department of Health and Human Services Control Number: 111PN0006403

                Make sure to read the bolded sections.

                • by geekoid ( 135745 )

                  You need to realize that the Vetting process started way before his nomination was received in the Senate.
                  Also, if Tom Dashel didn't tell anyone, how would they know?

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @09:20AM (#26735909)

    I know he's a very accomplished person, but would like to know whether the new appointee is friendly to Open Source Software and Linux in particular. I am optimistic though because he's been "more open" as compared to the typical government official.

    Now get us the facts about this man.

  • Since DC is running so efficiently now I can't wait for this guy to bring his success to the rest of the nation! Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough Cough-cough...
  • Almalexia and Sotha Sil? Don't they get positions too?
    • Heretic!

      The true Divines are Tiber Septim, Boethia, and Mara!

      But seriously, I thought the corprus religions in the caves were the single most badass thing about that game. Well, that and being a legally sanctioned hitman.

  • Thats my boss! (Score:2, Interesting)

    Well, I only started here (Office of the CTO) a few days ago, but around here he's very highly regarded and seen as man of vision. Either way congratulations to Vivek and I hope his replacement will be equally qualified.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      If by 'vision' you mean jumps on the latest gimmick.

      Piece of advice: Watch your ass and have an exit strategy.

  • Our non-American friends need to know that as far as cities go, Washington D.C., as a city, is probably the -worst- run city in the USA. Because it is the capitol, not only are they subject to their own local authority, but they are also subject to the whims of the US Congress. The existence of the whole thing is a joke because when the country was founded, the states squabbled even over who would have the honor of the national capitol, such that, eventually a few states kicked in a tiny plot of land, formed the "District of Columbia", and thus, the capitol is its own little piece of land under direct federal jurisdiction, whose habitants actually have no constitutional rights. Since that time, there's been a lot of talk about moving the capitol, or making DC a state, or doing something with it. But right now, we have a total screwed up mess of a city that has really no industry besides government, and the result is that, outside the museums, and government offices, the place is pretty much a big stinking ghetto whose most famous mayor was busted for smoking crack.

    From this, comes our national CIO.

    I'm like, not jumping for joy.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:04AM (#26736391)

      I happen to live in DC and have done consulting with Mr. Kundra. While you are correct that we have no real rights, DC has one of the highest standards of living. The city is divided into 4 quadrants and 2 of them are incredibly rich, one is lower and middle class, and yes, one is ghetto.

      You are also incorrect that DC is made of several states. Originally, Maryland and Virginia gave land, but the current city is entirely from Maryland land. As such, becoming part of Maryland or at least being attached somehow to Maryland and its laws has been proposed before as alternatives to statehood.

      Instead of slamming a city you know nothing about, you should criticize the man himself. Having worked with him, I can tell you he creates a culture of fear in his office. None of his clients or employees I have met seem to enjoy him. He also is quite ignorant of IT and DC IT for important services is next to useless. The whole google apps thing is more or less a joke here and not useful in any meaningful way. Instead of focusing on critical services, this man has forced the adoption of gimmicks for the sake of things that "look cool."

      As for people who think this man supports open source, I am sure he does, but know that he also supports Microsoft as well. I happen to be involved with several Microsoft projects with DC and I know a great deal of their systems are MS, so the whole open source thing is just fluff PR.

      Our government here is run so poorly and Vivek is just another part of the problem. He should be working as a junior programmer or help desk at best and not as a CIO/CTO. The man has no charisma whatsoever and is no way qualified to the country. Certainly the scope of DC government far dwarfs many major cities as well and does not translate on the national level. Shame on Obama for such an ill advised appointment. I suppose I should take solace in the fact that like all Vivek's positions and experience, it is meaningless cruft and he can't do any real damage because no one likes him.

      • by richsc ( 255920 )

        Not entirely Maryland land: the boundaries which anyone can see are a square encompassing originally Arlington and Alexandria. You can still see the boundary markers in Alexandria near the train station.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! ( 70830 )

      >or making DC a state

      Two senators for 400k people? No thanks. Its bad enough places like Wyoming get two senators. Why should I have two senators split between 12 million people and they get two senators for so few? This leads to an unequal situation in the senate.

      Just make it part of Virginia and call it a day, but its so poor and crime ridden, no one wants it.

      • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:06PM (#26739633)
        There's this thing called the House of Representatives, you may want to look into it for your representation based on population needs.
      • >or making DC a state

        Two senators for 400k people? No thanks. Its bad enough places like Wyoming get two senators. Why should I have two senators split between 12 million people and they get two senators for so few? This leads to an unequal situation in the senate.

        Just make it part of Virginia and call it a day, but its so poor and crime ridden, no one wants it.

        God bless our insightful forefathers that made sure places like Wyoming would always have as many senators as everybody else.

      • why should "you" have 2 Senators and someone in the District gets none? DC's population is actually higher than Wyoming's and didn't our last VP come from there? Ummm, well now that you mention it, I've changed my mind...
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You obviously have no comprehension of our system of checks and balances. The senate was designed to give equal representation weight amongst all states while the house gives representation proportionate to their population.

        Taxation without representation is the issue that led to our independence. Our nation's capital deserves some sort of voting representation.

      • by tjstork ( 137384 )

        Two senators for 400k people? No thanks. Its bad enough places like Wyoming get two senators.

        If there wasn't a bicameral Congress, or an electoral college, then, there would be no small states in the United States. The USA would basically look like New York, PA, Ohio, California, and Florida, populated but lacking farmland or natural resources and as a consequence, national wealth. In particular, until you build a lot of windmills, I wouldn't be ripping Wyoming too much, as, the vast majority of coal for

    • whose most famous mayor was busted for smoking crack.

      And, once he got out of jail, was promptly re-elected. Smoking crack is one thing, and can be attributed to a specific person or small group, but then you have a majority vote to put this person back in office; this is much more telling of the state of D.C.

      I've not been to D.C., but I hear all the horror stories, and I hope that if I ever do have to go there it's as an elected official so I can avoid driving myself around. It mixes the country's elite with tons of urban poor, both fighting within the city for their own views. That, and it houses the majority of lobbyists in the country.

      That said, I won't apply the nastiness of D.C. to one guy I know nothing about. He may well be a proper individual for the job, and highly accomplished in his previous one.

      Even crap has peanuts in it sometimes.

  • For Obama's sake, this guy better be squeaky clean. God help Obama if Kundra has tax issues with the IRS. Obama has already had 3 appointees shot down over this, and Geithner is under attack by critics for the same issues. The last thing he needs is a fourth confirmed kill (technically a fifth confirmed kill if you consider his decision to drop his original candidate for the CIA chief over some comments vaguely in favor of torture in limited circumstances).

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      well, if Obama doesn't know about the issues, I can't see how he is at fault.
      Ass one who has an IRS issue in my past, I do give annyone the benefit of the doubt. My problem was complatly my responsibility, and completly accidental.
      I paid up and it was over. I fail to see why a mistake that was immediatly rectified matters.
      Sure, if it was hiding donations or accepting gift repeatedly. But one time?
      And it's till not the presidents fault if he wasn't told....no matter who is the president.

  • by LunarCrisis ( 966179 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:08AM (#26736437)

    The administration could announce Kundra's appointment as soon as Thursday.

    I'd better get ready to find out then!

  • Morrowind? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:30AM (#26736733)

    Anyone else have a Morrowind flashback or 2?

    Naming a god to the post of IT advisor is certainly a newsworthy move, at any rate. (For the unintiated, Vivek is a god in the Elder Scrolls universe, as well as a city that was named after him.)

    • by v1k ( 958019 )
      Vivek means "discerning, discriminating", especially with wisdom and intelligence, in Sanskrit.
  • by rakerman ( 409507 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:33AM (#26736801) Homepage Journal

    The headline says "Top Federal IT Job", but won't that be the new CTO position? Kundra's (reportedly) being named as Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and information technology, not Chief Technology Officer.

    • Actually, the article points out that CTO seems to be less important than it was originally thought, which is why Kundra likely preferred to be at OMB, where he will oversee all federal IT projects.
  • I saw this guy's work regarding customer service for local government, he's doing a great job.

    It would be cool to find a way for slashdotters to help reproduce this, everywhere.

  • He will do just fine :)

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972