Vivek Kundra has been named the new US Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO). He has indicated that he will also have the role of the Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and information technology, for which he had been previously been reported to be under consideration.He served in Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty’s cabinet as the Chief Technology Officer for the District and before that as Virginia’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology in Governor Kaine’s cabinet.
Vivek Kundra was born in India in the city of New Delhi. He grew up in Tanzania and speaks Swahili as his first language. His family moved to the U.S. when he was 11 and he grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
He has been recognized by InfoWorld among the top 25 CTO’s in the country and as the 2008 IT Executive of the Year for his pioneering work to drive transparency, engage citizens and lower the cost of government operations. In 2007 he assembled the largest United States trade delegation ever to visit India, comprised of over one hundred business leaders, which resulted in a $99 million investment for the state.
He has been recognized for his work in developing programs to spur open source and crowd sourced applications using publicly accessible Web services from the District of Columbia with an initiative called Apps for Democracy, which he created with iStrategyLabs.
His efforts to use cloud-based Web applications in the District government have been considered innovative within government.
Mr. Kundra is advising President Barack Obama’s transition committee on technology issues. He was considered as one of the possible candidates for the newly created post of Federal CIO by the Obama administration, and was confirmed on March 5, 2009.
Kundra earned a degree in psychology and masters degree in information technology University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.