That's Norm Lorentz, who in 2002 was named CTO, reporting to Mark Forman, the OMB's administrator for e-government and IT. Forman's job was also a first--the first e-government czar, charged with modernizing government IT for the Web and service-oriented architecture. Forman held the post for a little over two years. Lorentz focused on creating the government's enterprise architecture to support e-government initiatives.
Those moves made sense, Lorentz says. Once Forman and he established a federal enterprise IT architecture, it needed permanent support not tied to political appointments. Lorentz thinks Obama's planned CTO makes sense if he or she is "like a CTO in the private sector, injecting technology into products" like Web 2.0 tools for citizens, not focusing on the back office.
Federal CTO Norm Lorentz
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As e-government administrator, Evans oversaw $71 billion of IT spending by federal agencies this fiscal year, balancing Bush administration goals and federal agency CIO priorities. Evans is best known for establishing a federal scorecard for each agency and department, rating the complexity and success of their IT projects. Federal CIOs generally report to an agency or department secretary or undersecretary, with a dotted line to the OMB administrator for e-government, who also directs the Council of CIOs.
The president also has a top science and technology adviser, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Obama named John Holdren, a Harvard professor of environmental policy, to that spot. Until the job was eliminated in 2007, the Commerce Department also had an official advocating for civilian technology innovation.
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All this insider complexity points to a big risk for a new CTO. Observes Denis O'Leary, a former executive VP and CIO with Chase: "There's a lot of roadkill of well-intentioned corporate types getting chewed up with the governance processes of Washington."
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