America Gets a New CTO

Todd Park, the former chief technology office of the Department of Health and Human Services, has been promoted to chief technology officer of, well, America. The White House announced Friday that he'll be the new U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

The Harvard grad has an impressive resume that includes your typical post-Ivy management consultant job as well as a successful decade running a health information technology company, Athenahealth, which he cofounded with his brother Ed. (Ed, who says he "spent way too much time trying to beat MIT at Quake on his way to earning his Computer Science degree" in college, sounds like he was the more technical cofounder.) It's easy to wonder why we'd have a former consultant and entrepreneur in charge of the federal government's technology instead of a developer or an engineer, but if you think about it, Park's experience makes perfect sense. 

When President Obama created the office of Chief Technology Officer on his first day in office over three years ago, he gave the job to Aneesh Chopra, who he said would "promote technological innovation to help achieve our most urgent priorities — from creating jobs and reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure." A former consultant/entrepreneur seems like a sensible choice for a job that's focused on innovation.

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