Federal CTO Chopra Steps Down

Former federal CIO and now Salesforce Executive Vice President Vivek Kundra made a lot of noise last summer with his decision to leave the Obama Administration. Now, Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra, another key figure in the Administration's focus on improving the way the federal government procures IT, is following him out the door.

The White House confirmed Chopra's departure in a statement Friday following earlier reports from several news outlets that Chopra's exit was imminent. It did not name an immediate replacement for the position.

"As the federal government's first Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra did groundbreak work to bring our government into the 21st century," said President Obama in a statement released by the White House. "Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records. His legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come, and I thank him for his outstanding service."

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Chopra was named federal CTO in April 2009, part of the then-newly installed Obama Administration's push to overhaul how the federal government procures and leverages technology. Chopra was previously Virginia Secretary of Technology.

Chopra's exit marks the second departure among three major appointments the Obama Administration made in early 2009 to focus on technology and IT management in the federal government. Jeffrey Zients, the executive named White House chief performance officer at the same time Chopra's appointment was announced, is now acting director of the office of management and budget (OMB). All three executives have been vocal proponents of the administration's so-called "cloud-first" strategy for managing the government's IT purchases.

It is anticipated that Chopra will run for lieutenant governor in Virginia, according to sources quoted by The Washington Post Friday.