Obama Names Chief Technology Officer

Aneesh Chopra will promote broadband rollout, streamlined government technology functions and technological innovation.

President Barack Obama has named Aneesh Chopra to the post of chief technology officer. Chopra had been Virginia's secretary of technology. The president made the announcement Saturday in his weekly video address.

In addition to streamlining government technology functions, Chopra will "promote technological innovation," which includes the nationwide rollout of broadband, one of the White House's key technology issues.

Nominee for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at one time was thought to be a prime candidate for the CTO post. Like Genachowski, Chopra was a member of the Obama transition team working on technology and government reform, both of which will be a focus of his new job.

Chopra got shout-outs from various tech groups.

Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Assoctation, said, "Obama said part of Chopra's job will be to expand the use of technology to boost broadband access," said Black in a statement. "With those marching orders and Chopra's abilities we look forward to seeing expanded, affordable access to an open Internet and the increased economic activity that comes from it."

"Aneesh Chopra is one of technology's leading lights and we are lucky to have him as our nation's Chief Technology Officer," said Intel Chairman Craig Barrett in response to the announcement. "Aneesh demonstrated outstanding leadership as Virginia's Secretary of Technology and believes to his core that innovation and technology are the backbone of our economy We applaud President Barack Obama for this choice of a proven, results-driven and experienced executive..."

Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Electronics Association added his seal of approval: "Chopra is an excellent selection.... He will bring to the position real world technology and public policy experience."