During the campaign, Barack Obama promised to appoint a national Chief Technology Officer. Naturally, vigorous discussion has ensued as to who that should be. I’ve been right in the thick of it:
- Arguing that the CTO should really be a CIO, in line with Obama’s own description of the job. (That got Slashdotted.)
- Discussing which direct responsibilities the United States CTO/CIO actually should have.
- Recommending former IRS Commissoner and American Management Systems CEO Charles Rossotti for the job, both because of his accomplishments and his honesty. (Rossotti emailed me implying that he wasn’t interested. I shot back that this was the first time in our quarter-century acquaintance I didn’t precisely believe what he said.)
- Outlining my recommended list of Obama Administration IT priorities.
Much of the blogosphere and trade press discussion started out silly, speculating on Eric Schmidt for the job and so on. Richard Koman was one of the first to analyze the subject more sensibly. But now Dan Farber has weighed in with a great post, looking at the practicalities of the position in detail, which was quickly echoed by his old partner Larry Dignan.
Getting Federal IT straight is a VERY difficult job. It’s also utterly crucial. I hope the Obama Administration gets it right.