CTO Aneesh Chopra to step down

Friday - 1/27/2012, 12:26pm EST

WhiteHouse.gov photo

Aneesh Chopra, the White House's first chief technology officer, is stepping down.

A White House official confirmed Chopra's last day would be Feb. 8. Neither Chopra nor the White House have indicated what Chopra's plans are after leaving.

In a statement, President Barack Obama praised Chopra for engaging the public using technology.

"His legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come, and I thank him for his outstanding service," Obama said.

The announcement of Chopra's departure was first reported by FedScoop.

Chopra was sworn in on May 22, 2009, as the federal CTO, a position that is part of the White House of Office of Science and Technology Policy. Previously, he had served as Secretary of Technology for Virginia, according to the White House website.

In a 2009 interview with Federal News Radio, Chopra said his main priorities as CTO were to: instill a culture of innovation, ensure reliable and resilient infrastructure, and to promote open, transparent government.

As CTO, Chopra led the development of federal agencies' first open government plans.

He was also a leading voice in the administration for electronic health record access, advocating for "Blue Button" access currently available to veterans.

The director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, writing on the OSTP blog, said Chopra carried out his duties in "an energetic, innovative, and amazingly effective manner, and sowed the seeds necessary to bring our government into the 21st century."

In addition to his leadership of federal open government initiatives, Holdren cited Chopra's work on the creation of a nationwide public-safety broadband network.

Meanwhile, Dan Varroney, the acting president and CEO of the IT industry association, TechAmerica praised Chopra's tenure at the White House.

"He's made an indelible mark on technology policy in this country because of his belief in the transformative nature of technology that resulted in powerful collaborations between government and the industry that will benefit our country long past Aneesh's last day as CTO." Varroney stated in a release.

Federal News Radio's Jason Miller and Jack Moore contributed to this story.

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