Enjoyed watching – and learned much from – Federal CIO Vivek Kundra @ NVTC this past Saturday

Posted by Kathleen Smith

vivek1I had the opportunity, and pleasure, of attending NVTC’s Saturday event, “Public Policy Series Featuring Vivek Kundra” this past weekend. In short, it was just an informative, amazing presentation. Vivek is a warm, engaging speaker and his delivery is always quite effective.


The three most notable points Vivek made that really made an impression upon me and others include the following:

Reasons for entering public service
I really enjoyed this anecdotal story. Vivek explained how he had been very unsure about transitioning into public service. The interview for his first job was on the morning of September 11, 2001. Needless to day, the interview was interrupted due to the federal emergency. It was a pivotal moment in his career which helped solidify his decision to be part of the government.

Charismatic, savvy speaker and bright IT professional
While there are many challenges in the structure of government, the passion, charisma and technical know-how Vivek brings to the Federal CIO position will, in my view, really inspire many middle managers to take on the challenge to make the necessary changes our government needs.

Partnerships are welcome; added value even more welcome
Vivek was quite clear in stating his commitment to embracing businesses in this partnership of creating and implementing change throughout our government but he was quick to point out that partners must also bring (a) something of value and (b) at the right cost for government. There are too many open source solutions out there, he shared. As a result, there is no need to be recreating things from the ground up for the purposes of government.

My take

Beyond all Vivek had to share with the audience, I think there was a much bigger point being made. Earlier in the week, the CIOs from both the Department of Energy and the Deparmtent of the Interior shared a panel with Vivek Kundra – sort of a CIO triumvirate and they identified that the biggest challenge facing them was not necessarily the technology but the data collection and cataloging. Once this information is catalog and can be shared with the public – that which is unclassified- we have some exciting time ahead. Even though everyone’s looking forward to this new transformation to take place in the next eight to eighteen months, I personally am eagerly looking forward to the second revolution *after* the transformation takes effect. I believe that the real exciting activity in our economy will take place when entrepreneurs and the private sector can access all the data that’s been held by the government is shared with the public.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 5:51 am

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