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Aneesh Chopra, the first White House chief of technology, resigns

January 27, 2012 |  5:58 pm

Aneesh Chopra was the White House's first chief technology officer.

Aneesh Chopra, the first White House chief of technology, has resigned after almost three years on the job.

Chopra's resignation was announced in a post on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's blog that did not explain why he's leaving the Obama administration. The Washington Post reported that he is rumored to be considering a run for lieutenant governor in Virgina.

"When President Obama came into office in January 2009, the administration found a federal government relying too heavily on 20th century technology," John P. Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in the blog post. "On his first day on the job, the president created the position of 'chief technology officer.'"

Chopra was sworn in as the first U.S. chief technology officer May 22, 2009. The job called for "looking at ways technology can spur innovations that help government do a better and more efficient job."

Holdren said Chopra had "a dizzying array of accomplishments" while in office, which included input on crafting the president's National Wireless Initiative, which calls for "the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network"; establishing "a set of Internet policy principles, including the call for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights"; and leading "the implementation of the president's open government strategy focused on unlocking the innovative potential of the federal government to solve problems and seed the jobs and industries of the future."

Obama, who is known as a more tech-friendly president than his predecessors, said in a statement that Chopra "did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century. Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records."

The White House under Obama has used technology -- social media in particular -- much more than previous administrations. This can be attributed to the rise in popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but Chopra may have had an influence as well.

Before his White House job, Chopra was chief technology officer for the state of Virgina. On "The Daily Show," host Jon Stewart once jokingly called Chopra the "Indian George Clooney."

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Aneesh Chopra smiles during a roundtable discussion at the 2010 International CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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