Obama Will Appoint U.S. CTO

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Chief technology officer has a ring about it. But the US will have one soon, as President-elect Barack Obama confirmed he will create the post after taking office. It’s a promise he made during his campaign.

The US CTO will have to ensure the government systems adhere to policy and function well, in addition to planning for the nation’s technological future.

The Obama team said:

“Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century.”

“The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.”

One of the CTO’s first jobs will be to oversee the roll out of a national wireless network for first responders, which the 9/11 commission recommended but which has still not happened, according to Vnunet.

So who might become the technology czar? Several names have been bandied around, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt of Google, although Schmidt told the New York Times he wasn’t interested in the position.