White House names new federal CIO

Microsoft
Read more about new federal CIO Steven Vanroekel here.

Steven VanRoekel, a former Microsoft executive, will be named the next federal chief information officer, the White House announced Thursday.

The New York Times first reported the news, noting that VanRoekel worked for Microsoft for 15 years.

VanRoekel served as managing director of the Federal Communications Commission starting in 2009. He currently is the executive director of citizen and organizational engagement at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

As federal CIO, he will succeed Vivek Kundra, who announced in June that he will leave his post.

At FCC, VanRoekel was an advocate for open government. In a blog post earlier this year, he wrote: "Look across the landscape of government websites, and you see a common phenomenon: a dot-gov site at rest, stays at rest. Our own FCC.gov is proof enough. What was hailed in the late 1990s as one of the leading federal Web sites has sprawled out over time, moving with the organizational changes of the FCC, but largely resisting the outside forces of technical evolution and consumer expectations … Thankfully for this community -- and for every American citizen -- a strong force has been quickening the pace of change. The principles of 'open government,' which urge federal agencies to embrace the inertia created by engaged citizens -- the real dot-gov shareholders, -- are helping to move these vital issues forward."

VanRoekel told the Times that he intends to build on the work Kundra has done. "We're trying to make sure that the pace of innovation in the private sector can be applied to the model that is government," he said.

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