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Steven VanRoekel Is New US Chief Information Officer

The Obama administration has named former Microsoft executive Steven VanRoekel as the new US Chief Information Officer.

VanRoekel, who has worked with the government since 2009 as the managing director of the Federal Communications Commission, will come in place of Vivek Kundra.

At Microsoft, VanRoekel was the senior director of Windows Server and Tools Division. He will have the broad role of moving the federal government to efficient IT technology which enhances productivity and lowers cost.

Before getting appointed as the government’s CIO, VanRoekel was the Executive Director of Citizen and Organizational Engagement at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“The productivity gap between where the private sector has gone over the last two decades and where government has gone is ever-widening,” VanRoekel told reporters at a press meet in the White House.

The government can spend on IT “in a way that actually saves money, saves resources and everything else”, he said.

Kundra, his predecessor, had put in place policies which allowed the government to move to a more flexible and efficient information technology environment.

The government spends a whooping $80 billion on IT each year, more than any private firm does, but fails to reach the kind of efficiency one sees in the private sector.