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First-Ever Federal CIO to Leave Post in August First-Ever Federal CIO to Leave Post in August

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White House

First-Ever Federal CIO to Leave Post in August


Vivek Kundra, the first-ever federal chief information officer, is planning to leave the White House in August after two and a half years with the administration. He is taking a position at Harvard University.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, the first person to hold that post, will leave later this summer to take a fellowship at Harvard University, the White House said on Thursday.

Kundra will be a joint fellow at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said Jack Lew, the Office of Management and Budget director, in a statement.


The government is "planning for a smooth transition, continuing these remarkable gains in changing the way the federal government manages IT," Lew said. "Vivek's impact on cutting waste and making government work better for the American people will continue to be felt well beyond his departure from federal service."

Kundra, who was formerly CIO for the District of Columbia, had been in office since the beginning of the Obama administration.

His signature initiative was his 25-Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology, which has, among other things, dramatically overhauled the timelines for government IT projects.


The White House has credited Kundra with saving $3 billion by canceling or fundamentally downsizing numerous IT projects that had gone years past their deadlines and millions of dollars over budget.

The 25-point plan also included shutting down or consolidating 800 of the government's approximately 2,100 data centers, saving an estimated $3 billion, and shifting large portions of the government's IT operations to cloud computing. That saved another $5 billion.

Speaking at a technology industry event on Wednesday night, Kundra described when he was first asked to serve on President Obama's transition team.

"The president had one message--changing the way Washington works," Kundra said. "I could see that he truly believed in the transformative power of technology."

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