Obama Names Admin.'s Chief Tech Officials

Aneesh Chopra (left), and Vivek Kundra, have been named the Obama admnistration's chief technology officer and chief information officer, respectively. AP/Times-Dispatch; Wash. Post

President Barack Obama on Saturday chose two Indian-Americans to help to streamline the federal government and cut costs.

Mr. Obama named Aneesh Chopra, the Harvard-educated secretary of technology for the state of Virginia, as the federal government's first chief technology officer. Chopra, 36, will help reduce health care costs and foster cybersecurity.

"In this role, Aneesh will promote technological innovation to help achieve our most urgent priorities - from creating jobs and reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure," Mr. Obama said in his Saturday radio and Internet address.

Chopra's corporate experience included working as managing director of the Advisory Board Company, a Washington-based health research company.

Another Indian-American, Vivek Kundra, will serve as chief information officer. Kundra is responsible for "responsible for setting technology policy across the government, and using technology to improve security, ensure transparency, and lower costs," President Obama said.

Kundra, 34, was chief technology officer for the city of Washington.

President Obama also named Jeffrey Zients, a longtime management consultant, as chief performance officer. His selection comes after Mr. Obama's first choice for the newly created position, Nancy Killefer, withdrew in February over tax problems.

Zients, a founder and managing partner of the investment firm Portfolio Logic, will also serve as a deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Zients has 20 years of business experience as a CEO, management consultant and entrepreneur. He has helped lead firms that provide performance benchmarks and best practices across a wide range of industries.

"With the leadership of these individuals, I am confident that we can break our bad habits, put an end to the mismanagement that has plagued our government and start living within our means again," Mr. Obama said. "That is how we will get our deficits under control and move from recovery to prosperity."
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