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Archive for April 18th, 2009 Worth reading: Social Software and National Security

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This has been buzzing around for a few days now — a paper looking at the relationship between social software and national security. Wired blogged about it … FCW’s Ben Bain had a good piece … You can now read it for yourself below… or find the link on this page… download the PDF.

Social Software and National Security: An Initial Net Assessment by Mark Drapeau and Linton Wells II

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

April 18, 2009 at 9:10 AM

DorobekInsider: Obama names a new chief performance officer, Jeffrey Zients, and the Obama CTO, Aneesh Chopra, the Virginia Secretary of Technology

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In what rapidly became the worst kept secret in Washington, the Obama administration used the weekend address to name the new chief performance officer and OMB deputy director of management, Jeffrey Zients, and also the much discussed Obama CTO, Aneesh Chopra.

Here is President Obama’s weekend address:

It was known that Chopra was in talks with the White House, but there is much less known about Zients.

More of the buzz later, but… here is the White House release:

WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Discusses Efforts to Reform Spending, Government Waste; Names Chief Performance Officer and Chief Technology Officer

WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Barack Obama announced that Jeffrey Zients, a CEO, management consultant and entrepreneur, will join the administration as the Chief Performance Officer, and that Aneesh Chopra, Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, will serve as the Chief Technology Officer. Zients will also serve as Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget. He will work to streamline processes, cut costs, and find the best practices throughout the government. As Chief Technology Officer, Chopra will promote technological innovation to help the country meet its goals from job creation, to reducing health care costs, to protecting the homeland. Together with Chief Information OfficerVivek Kundra, they will help give all Americans a government that is effective, efficient, and transparent.

President Obama announced his appointments of the following individuals today:

Jeffrey D. Zients

Zients has twenty years of business experience as a CEO, management consultant and entrepreneur with a deep understanding of business strategy, processreengineering and financial management. He served as CEO and Chairman of the Advisory Board Company and Chairman of the Corporate Executive Board. These firms are leading providers of performance benchmarks and best practices across a wide range of industries. Currently, he is the Founder and Managing Partner of Portfolio Logic, an investment firm focused primarily on business andhealthcare service companies.

Aneesh Paul Chopra

Chopra serves as Virginia’s Secretary of Technology. He leads the Commonwealth’s strategy to effectively leverage technology in government reform, to promote Virginia’s innovation agenda, and to foster technology-related economic development. Previously, he worked as Managing Director with the Advisory Board Company, leading thefirm’s Financial Leadership Council and the Working Council for Health Plan Executives.

Read the transcript here … or even listen in an MP3 here.

A few quotes from the President:

On budget cuts:

This Monday, at my first, full Cabinet meeting, I will ask all of my department and agency heads for specific proposals for cutting their budgets. Already, members of my Cabinet have begun to trim back unnecessary expenditures. Secretary Napolitano, for example, is ending consulting contracts to create new seals and logos that have cost the Department of Homeland Security $3 million since 2003. In the largest Department, Secretary Gates has launched an historic project to reform defense contracting procedures and eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful spending and cost overruns. And I commend Senators McCain and Levin – a Republican and a Democrat – who have teamed up to lead this effort in Congress.

On his new hires:

I have named Jeffrey Zients, a leading CEO, management consultant and entrepreneur, to serve as Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget and as the first ever Chief Performance Officer. Jeffrey will work to streamline processes, cut costs, and find best practices throughout our government.

Aneesh Chopra, who is currently the Secretary of Technology for Governor Kaine of Virginia, has agreed to serve as America’s Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Aneesh will promote technological innovation to help achieve our most urgent priorities – from creating jobs and reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure.

Aneesh and Jeffrey will work closely with our Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, who is responsible for setting technology policy across the government, and using technology to improve security, ensure transparency, and lower costs. The goal is to give all Americans a voice in their government and ensure that they know exactly how we’re spending their money – and can hold us accountable for the results.

I know that Zients needs to be confirmed by the Senate, but I’m not sure about Chopra, who technically will be the head of the White House Office of Science Technology Policy.

More about the buzz on these folks later, but… it’s too nice in DC today not to be outside.

Written by cdorobek

April 18, 2009 at 8:30 AM

Posted in Uncategorized Yes, we know there is a new chief performance officer nominee — and a CTO

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The White House issued a release earlier today — under embargo until 6a ET Saturday morning — about two senior White House posts.

A number of organizations decided to reject the embargo, including, somewhat shockingly, an un-bylined story in Federal Computer Week. ( has the best analysis so far.) I won’t do that. No, the stories are not hard to find out there. (Frankly, why the White House would issue an embargoed press release is somewhat inexplicable, but why would a new organization post the story? So you broke an embargo to post a story that everybody will have in a few hours? Um… congratulations! And yes, I got the release too. See — it’s right here!)

My late night causticness aside… we’ll reserve our thoughts for the actual release. All I’ll say is that the CTO isn’t totally unknown (and more here ), but we’ll have to see what we will all be Googling the chief performance officer.

So… we’ll just have to wait a few hours and then we can ponder.

Written by cdorobek

April 18, 2009 at 12:22 AM