Monday, April 20, 2009

The Man Behind the Curtain

In "Obama Picks Technology And Performance Officers," the Washington Post discusses the President's choice of Aneesh P. Chopra as the U.S. Chief Technology Officer. This represents fulfillment of a campaign promise that he made while outlining his technology policies, which focused on three areas: 1) network neutrality, 2) infrastructure modernization of broadband networks, and 3)defense of the intellectual property status quo in the name of protecting "competitiveness." Having a CTO for the nation sets and interesting precedent that shows how institutional structures in government may be borrowing from Silicon Valley (even as they rethink their corporate structures of governance).

Chopra has been the technology officer for the State of Virginia and was an important architect of Obama's web presence during the campaign. (The state issued a joint statement praising his service.) Chopra has a public policy background from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government as well. Of course, his past at the for-profit think tank The Advisory Board Company and his past ties to Comcast and Cox cable TV interests may give some free culture advocates pause.

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