York City and right in Obama's new backyard, Vivek Kundra, CTO of the District of Columbia.

These people have a blend of public- and private-sector experience at the CIO level, are proven adopters of new and innovative technologies and, most importantly, have experience working directly with their CEO -- the governor or mayor of their jurisdiction. The ability of a CIO to translate a leader's vision -- in this case Obama's -- into a working plan that includes all major stakeholders, across the tiers of government, is what this country needs.

Just as governors have real experience governing, so too do state and local CIOs have experience working within budgets while delivering actual services that impact the daily lives of taxpayers. They understand the need to integrate and align federal programs with services delivered at the state and local level using cost-effective IT.

To better understand what's needed to fix federal IT, link federal programs with state and local IT funding and why non federal CIOs have a better handle on the problem, read last week's look at the issue.

Tod Newcombe, Editor  |  Editor, Public CIO