Aneesh Chopra

The TechAmerica Foundation announced key recommendations on Friday for research initiatives and policies to enhance education across the nation through technology.

The recommendations came from a report compiled by the Recommendations for Education and Advancement of Learning (REAL) Agenda Commission, made up of leaders in science and technology in government and industry. Their intent is to advance the goals of Digital Promise, a national center founded to spur breakthrough technologies that aims to transform the way teachers teach and students learn. Keep reading →

One of the many things newly-appointed Federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park is credited with while serving in that role at the Department of Health and Human Services is the Health Data Initiative (HDI) and the webs site.

Originally launched in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the HHS as the Community Health Data Initiative (HDI Forum I), it is now part of the Health Data Consortium (HDC), a new public-private collaboration that encourages innovators to utilize health data to develop applications to raise awareness of health and health system performance and spark community action to improve health (HDI Forum II last June).

The goal of what is now being called the Health Datapalooza (HDI Forum III), to be held on June 5-6, 2012, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC., is to showcase the best and brightest new applications using health data from government and other sources.

I have followed Todd Park’s–and his predecessor, Aneesh Chopra’s–innovation efforts with health data culminating in the Health Data Initiative Forum II last June and the Strata 2011 New York Conference last September. I like their four policy levers that reflect their open innovation philosophy: Opening up data for innovators and entrepreneurs; taking on the role of impatient convener; initiating prizes, challenges, and competitions; and attracting top talent at the intersection of technology and policy.” Keep reading →

Rock star Jon Bon Jovi joined forces with the Department of Veterans Affairs Monday in challenging software developers to create mobile apps that can help homeless vets connect with services they need in real time and nearby.

Bon Jovi, who runs a community kitchen in New Jersey among his many philanthropic endeavors, is partnering with the federal government to launch an innovative idea that challenges private entrepreneurs to create a mobile apps to help a needy population. Keep reading →

White House officials confirmed that President Obama today is appointing Todd Park as the new U.S. Chief Technology Officer, stepping into the position formerly held by Aneesh Chopra.

Park will have “the important task of applying the newest technology and latest advances to make the Federal government work better for the American people,” said John P. Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the man who will be Park’s new boss, in a White House blog posted just after 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. Keep reading →

Chris Vein works for two prominent Obama administration officials who are always in the limelight. Consequently Vein doesn’t get a lot of publicity. If you do a search on his name, the “news” results shows very little.

And that’s all fine with Vein, the deputy Chief Technology Officer. He reports to the chief technology officer (the post Aneesh Chopra held before stepping down earlier this month) and also to John Holdren, the senior advisor to the president for Science and Technology. Both have been highly visible – and in Holdren’s case, controversial – appointees.
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While the news that Aneesh Chopra is stepping down from his White House post as chief technology officer may have earned the most chatter on government IT blogs this week, the bigger buzz behind the scenes was the controversy over Google’s new privacy policies and what it would mean for government employees.

If the controversy began with Google’s announcement Jan. 24 that it plans to follow the activities of users as they move across Google’s various websites and platforms, it escalated quickly the following day with an article by Karen Evans and Jeff Gould. Keep reading →

I saw the Tweets this morning about Aneesh Chopra “stepping down” based on a FedScoop article posted at midnight last night. Seems like a lot happens after normal business hours in this town.

I thought the most interesting words in the article were: “No information was provided on his future plans, but ongoing speculation includes running for political office to assuming an executive role leading the Washington offices of a major technology company,” writes Luke Fretwell in the article, which cites unnamed sources.

Then around noon the Washington Post just broke the story: Aneesh Chopra leaving the White House, likely to run for Virginia lieutenant governor, but said Chopra did not return requests for comment. (More on the story here.)

Chopra was part of a trio of D.C.-area tech and business heavyweights tapped by Obama at the start of his term to address government management and technological concerns. In the span of a few days in 2009, Obama named Chopra, Virginia’s former secretary of technology, to oversee the government’s tech upgrades, Jeffrey Zients, a D.C.-area business veteran, to serve as the first White House chief performance officer (Zients is now acting director of the Office of Management and Budget), and Vivek Kundra, a former District government official, who stepped down in June after serving as the first White House chief information officer, to go to Harvard briefly and and then recently joined

One of the White House’s leading forces for innovation, and the nation’s first formally appointed chief technology officer, Aneesh Chopra, is stepping down from his position, the White House confirmed today.

The Washington Post is reporting Chopra is expected to announce that he will run for lieutenant governor in Virginia, “according to Democrats familiar with his plan, but not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.” News of Chopra’s expected departure was initially reported by FedScoop. Keep reading →

Millions of federal employees, retirees and their families will soon be able to benefit from a software tool developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs that allows individuals to download their personal health data from the websites of their health plans.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) said it has asked all health insurance carriers who participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) to add the tool, known as the “Blue Button” and its functions to personal health record systems on their websites. OPM made the request Dec. 19, 2011, but announced the move publicly Jan. 18. Keep reading →

A new online service has put a spotlight on the 1000 most highly paid federal civil servants, renewing the debate on whether government employees are overcompensated.

The list of highest paid civil servants, issued by an Internet start-up firm, WikiOrgCharts, provides a new perspective on the extent to which doctors, lawyers and banking professionals hold top paying government jobs and the sizable incomes that the federal government pays to attract senior management talent. Keep reading →

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