Federal Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration: Options and Issues for Consideration [January 7, 2010] [open pdf - 201KB]
"In November 2007, Senator Barack Obama announced his intention, if elected president, to appoint a federal chief technology officer (CTO). On April 18, 2009, President Obama appointed Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh P. Chopra to serve as 'America's Chief Technology Officer.' Mr. Chopra serves as assistant to the president and CTO, and holds the position of associate director for technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In his capacity as assistant to the president and CTO, Mr. Chopra also serves as a member of the White House Domestic Policy Council under a provision of Executive Order 13500 (amending Executive Order 12859) issued by President Obama on February 5, 2009. In announcing the appointment of Mr. Chopra, President Obama broadly defined the role of the CTO as promoting 'technological innovation to help achieve our most important priorities--from creating jobs and reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure.' This paper presents President Obama's vision for the CTO position put forth during his campaign for the presidency and during the presidential transition. It also discusses the potential scope of duties and authorities of the CTO, articulates organizational precedents and challenges for the CTO, reviews some of the activities undertaken by Aneesh Chopra during his tenure as CTO, and identifies issues Congress may choose to consider if it opts to exert oversight or to develop legislation to create the position and/or office of the CTO."
CRS Report for Congress, R40150