In 2009, President Obama tapped Virginia’s Secretary of Technology to fill a brand new job – the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer. Aneesh Chopra’s goal was to help bring the Federal government out of the 20th century and into a world filled with new technology.
And now, Chopra is stepping down. The White House blog has nothing but great things to say about him:
Aneesh has led that charge in an energetic, innovative, and amazingly effective manner, and sowed the seeds necessary to bring our government into the 21st century.
Working with Aneesh for nearly three years has been an invigorating experience. Among a dizzying array of accomplishments, Aneesh helped design the President’s National Wireless Initiative, including the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network, establish a set of Internet Policy Principles including the call for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and led the implementation of the President’s open government strategy focused on unlocking the innovative potential of the federal government to solve problems and seed the jobs and industries of the future.
One of his last announcements in office was the “America’s Next Top energy Innovator” challenge, a program designed to find entrepreneurs and visionaries in the field of energy innovations and advanced manufacturing.
He also recently announced the “Green Button,” an initiative that allows households to download their energy use information so that they can make decisions to save energy and money.
Chopra made this statement about leaving to the Washington Post:
After an incredible three years as the nation’s first chief technology officer, I am returning to my home state of Virginia to continue my work using innovative new technologies and platforms to improve healthcare, education and energy – and to grow the jobs and industries of the future. I want to thank the President for entrusting me with the task of fostering an innovation culture in government, and for his direction, engagement, and leadership on applying technology for the betterment of all Americans.
Although he says that he’s going back home to focus on innovation, Democratic sources tell the post that Chopra is gearing up to run for the Lieutenant Governorship in Virginia.