Chopra Steps Down – Who Should be Next U.S. Federal CTO?

Big news today that U.S. Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra is stepping down on 1/27 (original story from Fedscoop) – some hypothesizing he may run for political office or move into a role with a tech firm (perhaps like Vivek Kundra move to Salesforce).

Chopra has been a great advocate for gov 2.0 – he’s constantly at open data announcement and challenges contests highlighting the word of innovators like Brightscope and others. He recently was at Code for America with Jill Biden and generally has been a great advocate for gov 2.0 and opengov.

So this tees up the next question –

Who should be the next federal CTO? What’s your take?

With only 10 months to the election, my guess says it’ll be someone already in the political system – maybe HHS CTO Todd Park, maybe VA CTO Peter Levine.

But who knows – maybe they’ll pick an outsider as a way to strengthen the Silicon Valley base (Eric Schmidt perhaps?). Or a successful city CTO?

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John Bordeaux

I’m curious how the replacement will fare in the confirmation process – we should probably plan to spend the rest of the year without a CTO based on the atmosphere these days.


John – probably right. In end, just comes down to how important the administration sees in having this role filled. With 10 months to go in the campaign, as you said, it may not be essential. And the role is more strategic with fewer staff and a lot less day-to-day management and core missions (like say head of DHS or IRS) where it’s more essential to have someone in the role.

That’s why it feels like you either leave it unfilled or promote someone already in a similar role at an agency

Christopher Dorobek

It is unlikely they will focus on CTO — or a new head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, for that matter — until they have a new head of OMB. They generally fill the top job first and work their way down the list.