March 9, 2012 By Matt Williams
The Obama administration has promoted Todd Park to the position of chief technology officer of the United States, the White House announced on its blog Friday, March 9.
Park was the CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the past three years. The Obama administration credits him with leading “the successful execution of an array of breakthrough initiatives, including the creation of HealthCare.gov, the first website to provide consumers with a comprehensive inventory of public and private health insurance plans available across the nation by ZIP code in a single, easy-to-use tool.”
Park replaces Aneesh Chopra, who left the Obama administration last month. Chopra became the nation’s first CTO in 2009. Chopra tweeted Friday that Park was an “outstanding pick” to replace him.
According to Park’s bio on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website, in 1997 he co-founded Athenahealth, a Web-based medical billing software company, and co-led its development over the following decade. Park also founded Castlight Health. Prior to that, Park served as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he focused on health-care strategy, technology and operations.
In a profile last year, The Atlantic reported that Park was not brought on as the HHS’ CTO to be in charge of all of the department’s IT, but to be an "entrepreneur in residence” and use its data in the best way possible. The position lacked a specific job description, but Park was reassured that he "would actually be empowered to do stuff." According to the article, Park defined his work at the HHS with one question: “Can he turn the agency into the NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] of health data, and, in the process, ignite a technological revolution in the health-care industry?”
Web 2.0 guru Tim O'Reilly is one among many observers who think Park will do the job. O'Reilly penned an article Friday called "Ok, I admit it. I have a mancrush on the new Federal CTO, Todd Park."
Read the story to learn more about the object of O'Reilly's affection.
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