Vivek Kundra, Possible Obama Tech Czar

Check out this interesting Post piece about Vivek Kundra, the District of Columbia’s chief technology officer. His gangantuan task is accelerating the implementation of innovative technology, despite an often dilatory Washington bureaucracy. What makes Kundra so exciting, and what has caught the eye of the Obama folks as a tech policy advisor, is his desire to use technology to open and speed up local governance by utilizing the power of social networking and Web 2.0 technology.

Instead of contracting with expensive software developers, Kundra used a YouTube-based contest to crowdsource the software he needed. He also has plans to digitize the vast reams of the government data about crime rates and police response times, which are currently available, but poorly accessible. This has naturally rankled some bureaucrats, but I think there is some potential in his proposals, if not for more transparent, then atleast for more efficient local government.

Vivek has the mind of a private sector tech start-up balanced with his commitment to public service. I think that puts him quite clearly into the orbit of Obama’s vision of the internet and citizenship (see my piece from a few months ago for more), which emphasizes broad access, open information and creative tech solutions to democratic problems. Here’s hoping Obama might even tap Kundra tomorrow for the much hyped technology czar position.

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8 Responses to “Vivek Kundra, Possible Obama Tech Czar”

  1. W. David Stephenson Says:

    Let me tell you: he’s the real deal — brilliant, and with a passion for democracy and empowering the citizenry! his is a piece I excerpted from a book, Democratizing Data, that Vivek and I are writing for O’Reilly (July), arguing that DC’s approach to strategic use of structured data feeds can help Obama overcome opposition to the stimulus package through total transparency, while simultaneously improving the functioning of federal agencies by giving workers the data they need.

  2. QuickBase Customers Rock! | The QuickBase Team Collaboration Blog Says:

    [...] of Washington, D.C. are using QuickBase to replace some expensive enterprise applications.  (Best of luck, Vivek!  You have the QuickBase team’s [...]

  3. » Let In The Sunshine I&D Blog Says:

    [...] Sunlight Foundation — building on one its own contests and similar efforts by Vivek Kunda, the District of Columbia’s effervescent tech czar — is sponsoring a competition to [...]

  4. Zubin Wadia Says:

    Check out some of my thoughts on why Vivek is the right choice and what initiatives the first ACTO should champion:

    http://zwadia.com/?p=75

  5. Crowdsourcing : Sunlight Foundation’s Contest | Crowd Sourcing Log Says:

    [...] Sunlight Foundation — building on one of its own contests and similar efforts by Vivek Kunda, the District of Columbia’s effervescent tech czar — is sponsoring a competition to build open [...]

  6. Influencelatelo’s blog » Blog Archive » SD LightWave Users: Next Meeting reminder is this Saturday at 11:00 am Says:

    [...] » Vivek Kundra, Possible Obama Tech Czar I&D Blog [...]

  7. Observer Says:

    Before Obama makes this choice, I think it would be prudent to really check what Vivek has done in DC in the two years – projects success and benefits to the citizens (check things at MPD). One can say his intentions may be good. And is definitely great in marketing & selling ideas. But, the important question is what is the real return of investment of his stock market model and if its workable in the real world. It sounds nice in theory.

  8. Internet & Democracy Blog » Hey Judge, TXT Me Says:

    [...] legal services accessible — is a smart solution to the morass of paperwork, the kind of thing Vivek Kundra would think up. The Hey Judge, TXT Me by Internet & Democracy Blog, unless otherwise expressly [...]