The Obama administration has announced that Todd Park will take over as assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO), filling a vacancy created by last month's departure of Aneesh Chopra, the nation's first CTO.
Park has served as CTO of the Department of Health & Human Services since August 2009, where he gained a reputation as an energetic agent for change. Hired as the department’s “entrepreneur-in-residence,” Park has been helping HHS harness the power of data, technology and innovation to improve the health of all Americans, the March 9 announcement from the White House said.
The president asked Park to bring that same approach to a broader mission – helping to replicate those and other best practices across government and bring them to scale. President Obama created the position of U.S. CTO on his first day in office, noting that corporate leaders have long recognized the value of having a person responsible for ensuring that technology is being used as effectively as possible to gain operational efficiencies and to optimize coordination and communications.
The U.S. CTO is responsible for ensuring the adoption of innovative technologies to support administration priorities, including job creation, broader access to affordable healthcare, enhanced energy efficiency, a more open government and national and homeland security.
“Todd Park has demonstrated a remarkable talent for enlisting innovative technologies to modernize government, reduce waste and make government information more accessible to the public,” said President Obama. “In his new position he will bring those skills to the entire federal enterprise, ensuring that government will serve all Americans fairly, effectively and efficiently.”
Before he headed to HHS, Park founded athenahealth with Jonathan Bush. Together they led the development of the company. Bush is athenahealth's CEO and president.
In his work at HHS, Park led the successful execution of an array of breakthrough initiatives, including the creation of HealthCare.gov, the first website to provide consumers with an inventory of public and private health insurance plans available across the nation by ZIP code; the development and launch of the Health Data Initiative, which makes information from the vaults of HHS easily downloadable by the public and third-party app developers via Health.Data.gov; and HHSinnovates, an awards program that identifies and recognizes innovators across HHS who have improved HHS operations.
In 2010, he was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business for his work as HHS CTO.
The U.S. CTO’s office is situated within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where Park will work closely with U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Telecommunications Tom Power. OSTP Director and Presidential science adviser John P. Holdren announced that Power will perform the duties of OSTP’s Associate Director for Technology – a position previously held by Chopra in conjunction with his role as U.S. CTO – while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement.