On Thursday, June 16, the nation's first federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra announced that he will be leaving his post at the White House for a fellowship at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society in mid-August. During Kundra's more than two years as federal CIO, he began implementation of a 25-point plan to reform how the federal government manages information technology in order to ensure openness and transparency in government, reduce spending on IT and encourage efficiency and innovation. He also initiated a "Cloud-First" policy, increased the government's focus on cybersecurity, and encouraged more participatory democracy through the Data.gov website and the Federal IT Dashboard.
Kundra served as Director of Infrastructure Technology for Arlington County, Virginia's Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology under Gov. Tim Kaine and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the District of Columbia before joining the White House in March 2009. In April 2009, he was the keynote speaker at an NVTC Public Policy Series breakfast co-hosted by TechAmerica, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and ITS America. Kundra also joined NVTC and Gov. Kaine at a reception honoring him and U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra in July 2009, spoke at an NVTC Titans breakfast in November 2010, and addressed the NVTC Board of Directors in March 2011.
"Vivek Kundra has been a strong supporter of NVTC and a great asset to the Northern Virginia technology community," said NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg. "We thank him for his outstanding contributions to the region's technology sector and for his service to the country."
"As the first true CIO for the U.S. government, Vivek has provided both a vision and leadership to move federal IT initiatives forward," shared NVTC Chair Brad Antle, president and CEO of Salient Federal Solutions. "His focus on eliminating projects that weren't achieving expected results has set a new standard for IT initiatives. Vivek was always accessible and open in his communications. His will be difficult shoes to fill."
"Vivek made an impact on government IT," said NVTC Vice Chair Jim Sheaffer, president of CSC's North American public sector. "He combined a visionary fervor with the power of his position to move the needle – exceeding the expectations of the IT community and challenging the comfort zones of the traditional IT establishment. He set a new course; it remains to be seen whether his successor can maintain it."