U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel Steps Down to Work on Ebola Response

VanRoekel will use his technology background to help coordinate efforts to control the West Africa outbreak.

by / September 19, 2014
Steve VanRoekel, Federal CIO

Steve VanRoekel will end his tenure as federal chief information officer and join the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as its chief innovation officer.

VanRoekel will help coordinate federal response efforts to the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, according to Politico. VanRoekel will step down as CIO today and report next week to Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID.

Technology is expected to play a role in VanRoekel’s new duties.

“With his unique talents and expertise, Steve will help us harness technologies like open data and mobile platforms to reach communities and households with powerful and life-saving information to help stop the devastating Ebola outbreak,” Shah said in a statement.

“Technology is not the solution to this extremely difficult task but it will be a part of the solution and I look forward to partnering with our Federal agencies, non-profit organizations and private sector tech communities to help accelerate this effort,” VanRoekel added.

VanRoekel has been the United States’ tech czar since August 2011. During that time, he championed the White House’s open data initiative and launched a mobile roadmap for federal agencies.

Although VanRoekel’s move to USAID was unexpected, President Obama will likely move quickly to fill the federal CIO position, Politico reported. Until a choice is made, Lisa Schlosser, a deputy administrator, will serve as interim CIO.