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US names former Microsoft executive as new Federal CIO

Warwick Ashford

The US has appointed former Microsoft executive Steven VanRoekel as its new government chief information officer.

The Federal CIO is responsible for directing the policy and strategic planning of federal information technology investments as well as for oversight of federal technology spending.

VanRoekel, who worked for Microsoft for 15 years, succeeds Vivek Kundra, who announced in June that he would be leaving the post, according to the New York Times.

VanRoekel also served as managing director of the Federal Communications Commission from 2009 and is currently the executive director of citizen and organisational engagement at the US Agency for International Development.

VanRoekel told the NYT that he intends to build on the work done by Kundra, who introduced a 25-point IT reform plan last December to improve IT procurement, development, programme management, budgeting, and skills development. Kundra also kicked off a government-wide datacentre consolidation and cloud computing initiative.

Other areas VanRoekel sees as ripe for further change include shared services, IT procurement and investment, according to US reports.

Kundra was appointed as the CIO for US by President Barack Obama in March 2009, after serving as a technology adviser on Obama's transition team.

In June, Kundra said he would be leaving in August to take a fellowship at Harvard University after more than two years in the White House.


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