Trump Nominates Michael Kratsios as Chief Technology Officer

Kratsios, who has been serving as deputy chief technology officer since 2017, has been nominated to fill a role that has been vacant for the past two years. He would be the fourth person to hold the position since its creation in 2009.

by / March 26, 2019
Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

President Donald Trump has nominated Michael Kratsios to fill the federal chief technology officer (CTO) position, which has been vacant for the past two years, dating back to the start of Trump’s administration.

Kratsios is being elevated from deputy chief technology officer, a role he has held since 2017. Reports note that in that capacity Kratsios has worked on several high-profile federal tech efforts, including national broadband, drones, AI, and more. Bloomberg also reports that Kratsios, who is 32, is a former venture capitalist and is “exceedingly well-connected.” He is also a South Carolina native and former intern for Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham.

The federal CTO position was created in 2009 under President Obama. The Kratsios nomination has drawn early praise from some with intimate knowledge of the position.

“It gives me some hope,” Aneesh Chopra, who was the first federal CTO appointment by Obama, told Bloomberg. “I’ve had no conversations with him that make me think he’s partisan.”

While Obama invested significantly in tech and made furthering government’s use of it a priority within his administration, Trump has been outwardly critical of major companies such as Amazon and Google. More recently, however, the president has supported some tech work, specifically signing an executive order that voiced support for American leadership in the developing realm of AI.

Meanwhile, the signature tech agencies created under Obama — the United States Digital Service and 18F — have seemingly continued to evolve, albeit a bit more quietly than under the previous administration.