President Obama today named Todd Park as the next U.S. Chief Technology Officer, bumping him up from his current CTO position with the Department of Health and Human Services.
While CTO at HSS, Park was tasked with bringing the health care industry into the 21st Century era of technology and transparency. One of his notable achievements was the creation of the website HealthCare.gov, which was the first website to offer consumers a "comprehensive inventory of public and private health insurance plans." The user-friendly website allowed consumers to find and research available health insurance plans specific to their zip code.
The appointment of Park harks back to the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government that President Obama signed during his first official day in office. The initiative aimed to "bridge the gap between the American people and their government" by pushing agencies to provide the public with access to their copious amounts of data. As a means to get the ball rolling on that initiative, the Obama Administration offered Park the position of CTO at HSS. While his official job title was that of a Chief Technology Officer, the common understanding was that Park would be HSS's "entrepreneur in residence." Such a designation propelled Park to arguably become the poster boy for President Obama's initiative to use technology as a means to empower citizens.
Park replaces the first CTO, Aneesh Chopra, who stepped down last month after spending three years at the position.
If you're not familiar with Todd Park, check out the video below of a talk Park gave at the Gov 2.0 Expo in 2010, "How Open Data Can Improve American's Health."