White House CTO Chopra leaving his post

Obama appointed Aneesh Chopra as the nation's first CTO in 2009 to advocate for technology policy at the White House

Aneesh Chopra, who has served for the past two-and-a-half years as the first CTO for the U.S. government, is stepping down in early February.

Chopra, appointed by President Barack Obama to the new position in May 2009, focused on technology policy at the White House. Chopra worked on modernizing the U.S. government's IT infrastructure, pushed for a nationwide public safety broadband network, helped develop Internet policy principles and worked to implement Obama's open-government strategy, John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in a blog post Friday.

Obama, in September 2009, said Chopra was "charged with looking at ways technology can spur innovations that help government do a better and more efficient job."

Mission accomplished, Holdren said. "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," he wrote.

Chopra may run for lieutenant governor in Virginia, the Washington Post reported.

Tech trade groups TechAmerica and the Business Software Alliance praised Chopra's service. The CTO made "an indelible mark on technology policy in this country because of his belief in the transformative nature of technology that resulted in powerful collaborations between government and the industry that will benefit our country long past Aneesh's last day as CTO," Dan Varroney, TechAmerica's acting president and CEO, said in a statement.

BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman called Chopra a "tireless leader and advocate" for using technology to tackle difficult problems faced by the country.

Chopra served as secretary of technology for the state of Virginia from January 2006 to April 2009. He previously served as managing director with the Advisory Board Co., a health-care think tank.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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