Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra were honored for their efforts to promote government performance excellence through technology at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference on Friday, May 6, in Washington, D.C.

The organization recognized the two technology leaders with its annual NASCIO Technology Champion award. Kundra and Chopra were spotlighted for their work in using technology to further transparency and efficiency at the federal level and for reaching out to state and local government partners.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra

Kyle Schafer, NASCIO president and chief technology officer of West Virginia, remarked that the duo stands as a model for how their roles can work together at the federal level and still maintain an understanding of state issues.

“Aneesh Chopra has made a special effort to reach out to the nation’s state CIOs to participate in innovative solutions for making government run more efficiently, seeking a multistate approach for common state problems,” Schafer said in a statement. “Vivek Kundra’s … introduction of the federal dashboard, Data.gov and his 25-point plan are innovative, promote transparency and create a new era of cooperation among the federal government and the states.”

Kundra and Chopra have championed ways to streamline government technology implementations and embrace open data and cloud computing since they were appointed to their posts in March and April 2009, respectively.

Aneesh Chopra

Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra

In addition to his 25 Point Implementation Plan to address technology issues in government, Kundra has been leading the charge to migrate data to the cloud. In addition, he revealed that 137 of the nation’s 2,000-plus data centers would be consolidated by the end of 2011.

The NASCIO Technology Champion award is given to acknowledge those who promote excellence in both technology and good government. Nominees may be elected or appointed officials in federal, state or local government, academics, authors, journalists, or individuals from nonprofit organizations or private businesses. Current state CIOs and people employed by corporate members of NASCIO are not eligible.