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U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra at FedTalks 2011

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra at FedTalks 2011

Sources close to the White House have confirmed that U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will announce he is stepping down on Friday. No information was provided on his future plans, but ongoing speculation includes running for political office to assuming an executive role leading the Washington offices of a major technology company.

Chopra has held his position since May 22, 2009, and previously served as Virginia’s Secretary of Technology from January 2006 to April 2009.

In his role as CTO, Chopra has been a proponent of open government and open innovation to help foster American entrepreneurialism through “government as a platform,” leveraging technology such as open data, open source software, application programming interfaces and government-sponsored challenges.

“There are hidden pockets of talent throughout this great country … thinking about the problems of our day,” Chopra told attendees at FedScoop’s FedTalks 2011 in October 2011. “Our healthcare challenges, our energy challenges, our educational challenges. The challenges that many of us are cynical to think we can make progress on given the difficulties we have in Washington reaching consensus. Yet, there they are. Innovators. Simply asking for an opportunity to shine. It is this philosophy that motivates our open government agenda.”

Potential replacement candidates include Department of Health and Human Services CTO Todd Park, Veterans Affairs CTO Peter Levin and Homeland Security Chief Information Officer Richard Spires.

Chopra at FedTalks 2011, Oct. 11, 2001: