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Todd Park Appointed Second U.S. CTO 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the guys-named-todd dept.
redletterdave writes "On Friday, President Barack Obama appointed Todd Park, a 39-year-old former entrepreneur and data scientist, to be the new Chief Technology Officer of the United States. Park takes over for Aneesh Chopra, the first U.S. CTO, who resigned earlier this year. Park was formerly the CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since 2009, where he helped bring 'big data' to healthcare by helping create an open health care data platform similar to the National Weather Service, which could feed data to commercial websites and applications. Before joining the Obama administration, Park helped co-found AthenaHealth and Castlight Health, and also served as a senior adviser to Ashoka, a global incubator for social entrepreneurs. One of his ventures, Healthpoint Services, won the 2011 Sankalp Award for the 'most innovative and promising health-oriented social enterprise in India.'"
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Todd Park Appointed Second U.S. CTO

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  • CTO? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:47PM (#39306217)

    Is it bad of me that I didn't know the country HAD a CTO? Do we have a CEO, COO, and chairman of the board too?

    I think we should work on a hostile take-over of Iraq... no wait, maybe we already did that.

    • Re:CTO? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flaming error (1041742) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:55PM (#39306319) Journal

      I don't know about all those executive posts, but the country does have owners. You and I are not among them.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Is it bad of me that I didn't know the country HAD a CTO? Do we have a CEO, COO, and chairman of the board too?

      I think we should work on a hostile take-over of Iraq... no wait, maybe we already did that.

      First I've heard of it, too. What systems did they hack into to get these jobs?

    • by formfeed (703859)

      Is it bad of me that I didn't know the country HAD a CTO? Do we have a CEO, COO, and chairman of the board too?

      Silly. CTO is just the title they use for /. readers.
      His real title is Tsar or more precisely Computa Tsar , so you don't confuse him with the Auto Tsar, the Dealing with Foreigners Tsar, or the War Tsar.

    • by Leebert (1694) *

      The US does indeed have a CIO.

    • I think that if you were to translate the roles of CEO, COO, etc into the branches of American government, it'd look something like this:

      CEO -- Barack Obama President (Chief Executive)
      COO -- Joe Biden (VP)
      CFO -- Ben Bernake (Chairman of Fed)
      Chairman of the Board -- John Roberts
      Board Members - Supreme Court Justices

      I think that corporations just made new titles for roles that already existed in models of governance and applied them to corporate governance, but the "CTO" title might be the first

    • by osgeek (239988)

      All the CTO/CIO + tons of Czar appointments are an effort to legitimize more executive appointed bureaucrats, more staff to support them, more money, and more power for the government.

      Over time, these appointments will get expanded into departments that will end up completely undermining the very thing they're supposed to be promoting - at the cost of billions to taxpayers. Take a look at the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. Horrible track records for accomplishing squat in their resp

  • by nman64 (912054) * on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:48PM (#39306225) Homepage

    He has my condolences.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's a good thing this guy has done so much for Indian health care.

    After all, with Immelt - the great innovator of outsourcing - as head of Obama's Job Creation Council, India is going to need healthy workers.

    Why is it not immediately obvious to everyone that the White House is quite literally selling them out?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SpryGuy (206254)

      It's not immediately obvious to everyone because it is not, by any factual account or logical reasoning, true.

  • Perfect Choice! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 09, 2012 @06:27PM (#39306657)

    What is the deal with the health care guys? I mean honestly it is the worst industry for technology ever, well except for like actual medical procedures and stuff - but that's not what these guys did.

    I mean really? We couldn't find someone from IBM or Oracle or Apple or Microsoft .. hell, I'll take a guy from Netscape at this point .. who at least has a sense of how things *should* work? Next time you wonder why it takes your doctor 3 months to bill you remember that the CTO of the United States of F'ing America is a guy who was considered a genius in that industry.

    flame away on my company names, they were just examples of the hundreds of companies that actually use real technology to actually, you know, DO THINGS.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Obama's campaign was & is heavily-funded by the Medical & Insurance industry. He's just returning the favor by hiring one of them. (Note: So too is Romney.)

      Aside - Netscape no longer exists (except as a brandname). Most of the former employees of that once-great company moved over to Mozilla circa 1999.

    • by teslatug (543527)
      You obviously haven't worked in the field. It's really difficult to get anything done. You have way too many stakeholders. The government issuing rules and changing them often, the nurses wanting one thing, the doctors wanting another (often that is to do nothing), the administrators another, etc. All of this needs to be customizable to the workflows of all the different hospitals and clinics. Then you have all the different fields of medicine (you thought ambulatory care was going to be the same as an inpa
  • What a contemptible title to give someone in government. It assumes we're all in favor of having a government that's as inefficient, tyrannical and fascist as the average corporation.
    • by khallow (566160)

      What a contemptible title to give someone in government. It assumes we're all in favor of having a government that's as inefficient, tyrannical and fascist as the average corporation.

      While I don't want a government that is as efficient, tyrannical, or fascist as the average corporation, I do have a question about the job title. What would you call this guy? CTO does say who he is and what he does.

      • by tragedy (27079)

        How about Minister of Federal Information Technology? Or commissioner. A title that actually fits a government job. I suppose CTO is better than Czar (or Tsar, or whatever) though.

  • Government technology buffoonery has plagued this nation for decades. If banks can daily move trillions of dollars without the loss of a penny, why does the government require months or even years of waiting for various permits? The technology already exists. Companies like Fiserv, Jack Henry, Metavante, and Harland (maybe not Metavante, their technology and people skills suck) already manage off the shelf systems that could take a large bureaucracy like INS and make it super efficient.

    If an Government

    • by tragedy (27079)

      Most of the Banks around here seem to use Diebold ATMs. The company that managed to infect its own ATM network with Windows viruses. One of the more common kinds of financial scams relies on the fact that cheques _never_ actually clear even though the banks have to clear them in a certain time frame. It can be two years later and suddenly a $50,000 cashiers cheque you deposited and your bank "cleared" is reversed. There have been tons of cases of billions of dollars being completely misused by bankers and b

    • by osgeek (239988)

      Your suggestion of where a Government CTO should start implies a misunderstanding of the motivation of the State and of this administration in particular.

      There will be no concerted moves toward efficiency that might decrease a need for Government personnel and budget. No, this CTO will be suggesting new programs that require new expenditures. If anything, those new programs will degrade the performance of other parts of Government, requiring more budget dollars to correct.

      The State is interested in its ow

  • Because a) it's a do nothing job and b) it's impossible to accomplish anything when procurement runs the world.

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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