Former Richmond resident gives technology a seat at the Obama policy table
He has only been on the job for a few weeks, but the country’s first Chief Technology Officer has a monumental task in front of him. His job is to help the President of the United States integrate technology in every single policy decision. It is no easy task, but one Aneesh Chopra, a former Richmond resident and head of Technology for Governor Tim Kaine, feels is a necessity.
When Chopra first took a similar position in the Kaine administration he quickly learned that no matter what issue the Governor had in front of him, technology had to be a part of the discussion. He is taking that same approach to Washington, where is finding a similar challenge on just a much grander scale. From health care to education. From space exploration to the sagging economy, Chopra believes the country can’t afford to be behind the technology curve. By serving on the President’s senior staff, directly under Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Chopra has the responsibility of integrating technology into each and every policy decision.
((More on Chopra and the DTV transition after the jump))
Chopra is learning the importance of his position quickly. The transition to digital television was not a decision made under President Obama, or while Chopra was on the job, however the stewardship of the transition has become his responsibility. The goal of the D-TV transition was not to annoy viewers who had no problem with the analog television reception they had been getting for years. It’s purpose is to free up valuable space along the information superhighway to allow faster and easier access to people across the country. As Chopra explained to me, getting through this rough change will ultimately lead to more opportunity for Americans.
“We envision broadband services that will hit much larger ranges of the country, the you would have high speed broadband delivered right to your mobile device whether you are in Southwest VA, Southside, the Eastern Shore, Harrisonburg and beyond. In a sense we saw this very important highway clogged up with information, that could’ve been delivered and distributed in a more cost effective way.”
Below see extended clips from my interview with Chopra, including his take on his new position and the significance of President Obama moving his weekly address from the radio to YouTube.