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Federal CIO Vivek Kundra Stepping Down in August

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will leave the White House in August for a post at Harvard University, Politico reports, citing unnamed sources.

Politico’s Kim Hart broke the story, which is currently up behind the site’s paywall.

Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew confirmed the news in a statement, saying Kundra will leave his post for a joint fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society later this summer.

“When he began at the White House, he brought with him the promise of good ideas and a hard-charging style,” Lew said of Kundra in a statement.

And two and a half years later, he has delivered, Lew added.  “He has cracked down on wasteful IT spending, saved $3 billion in taxpayer dollars; moved the government to the cloud; strengthened the cybersecurity posture of the nation while making it more open, transparent and participatory,” he said.

The news spread quickly on Twitter, with many caught by surprise.

The general consensus seemed to be that, if true, Kundra’s departure would spell a loss for the federal government and its IT efforts

Commenting on the shoes Kundra will leave to fill, Federal News Radio’s Tom Temin tweeted, “Either his initiatives will crash, or administration will bring in an enforcer.”

As the country’s first CIO, Kundra has been instrumental in the administration’s attempts to modernize federal IT. The list of accomplishments bearing his fingerprints is prolific: from the exhaustive 25-point IT reform plan to the federal cloud-computing strategy.

Check back here for more updates.

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