Obama appoints Todd Park to federal CTO role

Friday - 3/9/2012, 3:40pm EST

The White House announced today President Barack Obama will appoint Todd Park to serve as the next federal chief technology officer.

Todd Park, then the HHS CTO, speaks with Federal Drive anchor Tom Temin (right) in 2010.

Park most recently served as the CTO of the Health and Human Services Department and fills the slot vacated by Aneesh Chopra, who stepped down last month after three years in the position.

John Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, announced the appointment in a post on the White House blog.

Park, who joined HHS in August 2009, helped spearhead tech initiatives at the agency including efforts on electronic health records and the launch of HealthCare.gov, which provides consumer-focused information about health plans.

The former health IT executive is widely credited with bringing an " entrepreneurial spirit" to his government role.

Park's championing of open data was manifested in the Community Health Data Initiative, under which the agency releases health datasets online and markets them to application developers.

Park said the model for the agency, in opening up its vast reserves of health-care data for private use, was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA publishes the weather data that private-sector outfits, such as the Weather Channel, depend on.

Chopra announced he was stepping down in late January.

Meanwhile, Park's is only one of the high-profile tech moves at HHS.

Frank Baitman, the former chief information officer at the Social Security Administration, has been named the CIO of HHS, Federal News Radio has learned.

John Teeter, the HHS deputy CIO, confirmed Baitman started at the agency in mid-February.

"We are getting him up to speed and in motion at HHS and I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job," Teeter said.

Baitman replaces Mike Carleton, who retired in July after 35 years of government service.

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