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After Kundra: First CIO’s Legacy and Possible Successors

Vivek Kundra, Photo: CIO.gov

The nation’s first chief information officer, Vivek Kundra, wasn’t the only White House geek (see this interview), but as he prepares to retire at the end of the end of the summer, many tech observers wonder what his departure means for his high-profile policy initiatives, such as the IT reform and cloud-computing guidelines.

Kundra is turning in his White House ID for a fellowship at Harvard, The Washington Post reports, where he will continue to focus on issues such as cloud computing and open government.

David A. Powner, director of information technology management issues at the Government Accountability Office told The Washington Post’s Marjorie Censer that Kundra’s leave-taking would likely affect

“He was a big reason why certain things got done,” Powner said, explaining that Kundra “pushed things very aggressively.”

William Eggers, public sector research for Deloitte, told Federal Computer Week Kundra has been “probably the most visionary CIO we’ve ever had.”

“He pushed the envelope on cloud computing and modularization, helped make the U.S. a leader in data democracy and put a spotlight on the dismal track record of many large federal IT initiatives,” he said. “Vivek will be a very hard act to follow.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Jackson, the director of cloud services for tech firm NJVC who blogs on Forbes.com, is already discussing a possible Kundra successor.

Jackson cites Veterans Affairs CIO Roger Baker, General Services Administration IT guru Dave McClure and Homeland Security CIO Richard Spires as top-of-mind possible contenders.

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