Aneesh Chopra

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Aneesh Chopra
1st Chief Technology Officer of the United States
In office
May 2009 – February 2012
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byTodd Park
4th Virginia Secretary of Technology
In office
January 14, 2006 – April 2009
GovernorTim Kaine
Preceded byEugene Huang
Succeeded byLeonard Pomata
Personal details
Born (1972-07-13) July 13, 1972 (age 51)
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseRohini Dhir
EducationJohns Hopkins University (BS)
Harvard University (MPP)

Aneesh Paul Chopra (born July 13, 1972) is an American executive who served as the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States. He was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama and was at the White House through 2012.[1] Chopra previously served as Virginia's Secretary of Technology under Governor Tim Kaine. Chopra was a candidate in 2013 for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He is the author of Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government (2014) and co-founder and president of CareJourney. In 2015 he joined Albright Stonebridge Group as a senior advisor.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Chopra was born in Trenton, New Jersey,[3] the eldest son of Indian immigrants Ram and Neelam Chopra, and graduated from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in 1990.[4][5] Chopra received his undergraduate degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[6] After receiving his M.P.P., Chopra worked for The Advisory Board Company where he was a Managing Director.[7]


Virginia Secretary of Technology[edit]

In 2006, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine appointed Chopra as the commonwealth's Secretary of Technology.[8][9] His service continued until his appointment as U.S. Chief Technology Officer in 2009. Chopra spearheaded a number of innovations in state government, including the creation of a Productivity Innovation Fund which provided resources for state agencies to pursue IT projects to improve efficiency.[10] In 2008 Chopra implemented a statewide performance management strategy, that Governing magazine described as "venture governmentalism." Later that year, the Pew Charitable Trust and Governing Magazine announced Virginia was tied as the "best managed state" in the country.[11][12]

U.S. Chief Technology Officer[edit]

Chopra's appointment as the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States was announced by the White House on April 18, 2009.[13] From the official release: "[a]s Chief Technology Officer, Chopra will promote technological innovation to help the country meet its goals from job creation, to reducing health care costs, to protecting the homeland."[14] Chopra was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 7, 2009. The office of Chief Technology Officer was organized within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.[15] The C.T.O. also serves as a cabinet-rank member of the National Economic Council and the Domestic Policy Council.

President's Strategy for American Innovation[edit]

In 2011, the White House announced the updated Strategy for American Innovation which was aimed at innovating a number of areas of the federal government. As part of President Obama's goal to "win the future," Chopra implemented a number of new programs focused on education, research, and infrastructure.[16]

Startup America[edit]

Startup America, launched in 2011, is a White House program aimed at spurring innovation through entrepreneurship.[17] Chopra helped drive the Startup America effort worked to improve access to startup capital, reduce barriers to entry, connect entrepreneurs with mentors, and create new market opportunities in health care, clean energy and education.[18] Along with the White House initiatives, the Startup America Partnership was created as an independent alliance of private sector leaders.[17]

Open Innovator's Toolkit[edit]

In 2012, Chopra announced the release of the Open Innovator's Toolkit, a collection of 20 leading practices that 'open innovators' should consider when approaching policy proposals at all levels of government.[19] As noted in the memorandum to the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology, the goal was "rather than pursue traditional "top-down" models to spur breakthroughs ... President Obama emphasizes a "bottom-up" philosophy that taps into the expertise of the American people."[19]

Blue Button and Green Button[edit]

Launched by Chopra and the White House in 2010, the "Blue Button" program gave military veterans a tool to download their individual health records from the Veterans' Administration. This tool made it easy for veterans to obtain their medical records and coordinate care with healthcare providers.[20] As of 2015, similar programs were unveiled by the Department of Defense and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In the first five years of the Blue Button, nearly 3 million veterans, military personnel, and Medicare beneficiaries had obtained their medical records online.[21]

Likewise, the Green Button program was launched in 2012 and provided Americans with easy and secure access to their electricity usage data[22] and was built on the success of the Blue Button program. The program provides energy consumption data in a standardized format that can easily be displayed on the web or via other applications.[23]

Post-Obama administration career[edit]

Chopra campaigning for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2013

In July 2012, The Washington Post reported that Chopra would run for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 election.[24] The primary election was held on June 11, 2013 and Chopra was defeated by State Senator Ralph Northam by a margin of 54-46%.[25]

In 2014, Chopra authored of Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government. Chopra became the co-founder and president of CareJourney.[26]

In 2014, Chopra was named to the inaugural class of Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellows at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.[27] He led a program that addressed the role of data as public infrastructure and the challenges and opportunities involved with expanding open access to data.[28]

Later in 2014, Chopra was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to serve on the Council on Virginia's Future.[29] From the Council's description: "The Council works to help guide Virginia in improving outcomes for citizens. Membership is prescribed by law and includes top leadership from the executive and legislative branches of state government, as well as business and community leaders from across the Commonwealth.[30]

Chopra was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders.[31]

In November 2020, Chopra was named a member of the Joe Biden presidential transition Agency Review Team to support transition efforts related to the United States Postal Service.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ashely Southall (2012-01-27). "Top Technology Official Leaving the White House". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  2. ^ "News: Albright Stonebridge Group Continues Strategic Growth: Expands Expertise in India, Japan, Latin America and Southeast Asia". 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  3. ^ Schatz, Lincoln (2013-02-05). The Network: Portrait Conversations. Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 9781588343994.
  4. ^ Tracy, Ryan. "Obama taps WW-PS alum for technology post", The Times (Trenton), April 21, 2009. Accessed February 22, 2011. "President Obama has picked a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School to be the nation's first chief technology officer. Aneesh Chopra, 36, graduated from West Windsor's south campus in 1990 and spent the last three years as secretary of technology under Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine."
  5. ^ Wang, Jean. "WW-PS grad and former U.S. chief technology officer speaks at Princeton", The Times (Trenton), December 9, 2014, updated March 29, 2019. Accessed January 26, 2020. "There is talent all over the country that is not being tapped to help solve major government challenges, according to Plainsboro native and former U.S. chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra. Chopra, a 1990 graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, spoke Monday at Princeton University about his book, Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government."
  6. ^ School, Harvard Kennedy. "Chief Technology Noodge". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  7. ^ "Aneesh Chopra to Lead Healthcare Tech Strategy at Advisory Board Company". Executive Gov. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  8. ^ "Aneesh P. Chopra, Secretary of Technology, Virginia". 24 December 2010. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  9. ^ Chopra, Aneesh (2014-05-06). Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government. Open Road + Grove/Atlantic. ISBN 9780802193469.
  10. ^ "Venture Governmentalist". 24 March 2010. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  11. ^ "Measuring Performance" (PDF). March 2008 – via Governing Magazine.
  12. ^ O'Reilly, Tim. "Obama's New Tech Guru". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  13. ^ "Weekly Address: Efficiency and Innovation". 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2019-02-28 – via National Archives.
  14. ^ "Weekly Address: President Obama Discusses Efforts to Reform Spending, Government Waste; Names Chief Performance Officer and Chief Technology Officer". 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2016-07-12 – via National Archives.
  15. ^ Scola, Nancy (2012-02-06). "The Interview: Aneesh Chopra". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  16. ^ "Winning the future through innovation". 4 February 2011. Retrieved 2016-07-12. [self-published source]
  17. ^ a b "White House to Launch "Startup America" Initiative". 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2019-02-28 – via National Archives.
  18. ^ "President Obama Speaks about Startup America". Retrieved 2016-07-12 – via National Archives.
  19. ^ a b "In Parting Shot, Chopra Unveils Open Innovator's Toolkit". FedScoop. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  20. ^ "'Blue Button' Provides Access to Downloadable Personal Health Data". 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2019-02-28 – via National Archives.
  21. ^ "Celebrating the 5 Year Anniversary of Blue Button & Open Health Data". 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2016-07-12 – via National Archives.
  22. ^ "Green Button Initiative Makes Headway with Electric Industry and Consumers". 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2019-02-28 – via National Archives.
  23. ^ "Green Button Initiative Makes Headway with Electric Industry and Consumers". 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2016-07-12 – via National Archives.
  24. ^ "Chopra to run for Virginia lietenant governor". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  25. ^ "Virginia Elections Database " Search Elections". Virginia Elections Database. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  26. ^ admin (2014-11-19). "Home". CareJourney. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  27. ^ "Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship". Shorenstein Center. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  28. ^ School, Harvard Kennedy. "Aneesh Chopra and Nick Sinai Announced as Inaugural Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellows". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  29. ^ "Aneesh Chopra | Commonwealth Fund". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  30. ^ "About Us | Council on Virginia's Future". Archived from the original on 2016-04-19. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  31. ^ "Confirmed & Past Speakers - Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders". National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  32. ^ "Agency Review Teams". President-Elect Joe Biden. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Virginia Secretary of Technology
Succeeded by
New title Chief Technology Officer of the United States
Succeeded by