From the White House blog (the real one, not the one that was a porn site, until 2004):
I’m very excited that President Obama today is appointing Todd Park as the new U.S. Chief Technology Officer, with the important task of applying the newest technology and latest advances to make the Federal government work better for the American people.If you're not sure what the nation's science officer does, just think Spock or T'Pol and occasionally Harry Kim, only in the present and for an entire country.
For nearly three years, Todd has served as CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he was a hugely energetic force for positive change. He led the successful execution of an array of breakthrough initiatives, including the creation of HealthCare.gov, the first website to provide consumers with a comprehensive inventory of public and private health insurance plans available across the Nation by zip code in a single, easy-to-use tool.
On his first full day in office, President Obama created the position of “Chief Technology Officer” to help modernize a Federal government relying too heavily on 20th century technology, and to better use technological tools to address a wide range of national challenges.
Here's more on Mr Park from Bloomberg:
You don’t normally find serial entrepreneurs working for the U.S. government. But Todd Park, who co-founded three companies by the time he was 36, believes he can help make Americans healthier.Nerdocracy will save America.
Park, now 39, is the first chief technology officer hired by the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid and oversees the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, among other agencies. He is the “entrepreneur-in-residence,” nudging the agency to open its vast stores of data to spur innovative ideas.
Park is teaching the normally plodding government agency how to think and act like a Silicon Valley startup: Get new products to market quickly, study customer reaction, and then make adjustments to find the best solution for that need. It’s right out of the entrepreneur’s handbook, except that Park has 313 million customers—the population of the U.S.
“He is not a Washington guy,” says O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Rilley, who calls Park one of the most powerful data scientists around. “He’s a technology guy who is trying to figure out how to make the health-care system work.”
And work fast. Ninety days after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Park and a team launched healthcare.gov, a website that helps consumers find health coverage plans from a database of all public and private plans by Zip Code (other sites are not comprehensive).
“It is possible to be entrepreneurial in the U.S. government,” says Park, who has been at HHS for two and a half years. “It’s possible for government to execute major projects at Silicon Valley speed.”
This succinct email (originally) was sent from my iPhone.