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2/25/2011
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Feds Pick San Francisco CIO To Push Innovation

Chris Vein is now deputy U.S. CTO for Innovation, reporting to U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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The Obama administration has tapped San Francisco's progressive CIO to be deputy U.S. CTO with a focus on helping the federal government provide more innovation through technology.

Vein, who served as SF CIO for nearly four years, will now report to U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra at the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where his official job title is deputy U.S. CTO for innovation, according to his public profile on the LinkedIn business-networking Web site.

OSTP spokesperson Rick Weiss confirmed the appointment via e-mail Friday. Vein is also listed on the agency's staff Web page.

Vein was named one of the top 50 government CIOs by InformationWeek for government transparency and other forward-looking IT strategies in one of the most tech-savvy cities in the United States.

SF has been a major proponent of open data at the city-government level, releasing hundreds of data sets online on its DataSF Web site. People can search through information about crime, transportation, health, filming locations, and more on the site, which the city launched in 2009. Developers also used the data as a springboard for building more than 50 applications that leverage it to provide online and mobile services to city residents.

Other positions Vein held in San Francisco before taking over as CIO in 2007 included a job as senior technology advisor to former Mayor Gavin Newsom -- who ordered the creation of DataSF -- and deputy director and chief administrative officer for SF's Department of Telecommunications and Information Services.

No stranger to federal government work, Vein already has experience working with President Obama's IT leaders. In March 2010, Vein collaborated with U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra to launch the national Open 311 API, a standard programming interface that allows developers to build applications linking directly into metropolitan 311 systems.

Vein also has served under the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations as director of administrative and financial services for the White House.

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