Nitin Pradhan

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Nitin Pradhan
Nitin Pradhan, Chief Information Officer.jpg
Departmental Chief Information Officer (CIO)
In office
July 6, 2009 – August 31, 2012
Preceded by Dan Mintz
Prior position: IT executive, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)
Personal details
Website US DOT CIO

Nitin Pradhan (Hindi: नितिन प्रधान;) was the Departmental Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the US Department of Transportation (DOT) as part of the Obama Administration from July 6, 2009 to August 31, 2012. After leaving US DOT, Pradhan established and leads the nation's first Federal Technology Accelerator and Partner Consortium called Public Private Innovations[1] and cofounded GOVonomy, an emerging products technology marketplace for the public sector.[2]

Prior to joining DOT, Pradhan was an IT Executive at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the 12th largest school district in the USA. Earlier, Pradhan was the Managing Director of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).[3] He was also the co-founder and former CEO of a wireless startup.

Early life and education[edit]

Born and brought up in Pune, India, Pradhan attended Loyola High School (Pune), where he was known as an avid sportsman focused on athletics, including soccer and field hockey. After high school, Pradhan attended the Faculty of Technology and Engineering, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda(MSU), India where he completed his bachelor's degree in engineering. He followed this degree with master's in marketing management from University of Pune, India.

After receiving his masters, Pradhan started his technology career in India by establishing and growing one of the most profitable divisions of International Data Management Ltd., (IDM) in India.[4] Pradhan came to Washington, DC on a graduate fellowship from the Kogod School of Business at The American University (AU), to study for his second master's degree in accounting.

IT philosophy[edit]

Pradhan’s IT philosophy focuses on people first, innovation, agility and driving business value. He believes that technology is first about people. Technology based Innovation is his second theme. He believes that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have a dual role to play as Chief Innovation Officers. This aspect focuses on creating an innovation life cycle within organizations consisting of ideation and crowd sourcing tools like DOT’s IdeaHub,[5] a process for selection of best ideas, a cloud based agility platform for quick deployment of “apps” that drive business value,an IT business catalogue, with a one-stop shop for basic, premium, and fee-for-service IT offerings,[6] and an IT Vital Signs dashboard that measures progress.[7]

Finally, he has promoted the concept of new IT—IT 2.0,[8] as he calls it, is based on immediately providing significant public value and business value, and Everything as a Service (EAAS).[9]

He is a strong proponent of using technology to deliver business results, for example; using emerging innovations like Intelligent Transportation Systems and DOT’s Connected Vehicles Program[10] designed to leverage vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), driverless cars, and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless communication in order to make driving safer by making cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles aware of the vehicles around them, even if the drivers aren't.[11]


Pre Obama Administration Career[edit]

DOT IT Portfolio Rationalization

While studying at the American University, Pradhan researched and experimented in using Internet for business. This was the era when Internet browsers were yet to be invented and the Internet itself was primarily a research and education tool. This effort helped him launch one of the first online businesses in the early 1990s. While his online company did not succeed, this early experimentation was vital for him joining the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)[3] and later becoming its Managing Director.

At CIT, Pradhan co-led in the creation and implementation of Virginia's first industry led Information Technology and Telecommunication's Strategic Plan in partnership with leading industry, university and government executives. He helped secure funding, established and expanded technology centers of excellence focused on increasing Internet utilization in partnership with Virginia universities, government and companies. He was also a mentor for entrepreneurs and startups seeking to build profitable companies around Internet technologies.

Pradhan also championed bold innovative initiatives launched in the DC metro region in the mid-nineties; including Potomac Knowledge Way[12] and Netpreneur,[13] established by the Morino Institute,[14] and the creation and expansion of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)[15] a membership and trade association for the technology community in Northern Virginia, now the largest technology council in the nation, currently serving about 1,000 organizations. After CIT, Pradhan co-founded a wireless startup and was the CEO in early 2000.

Pradhan's interest in technology and its potential for positive impact on the education sector attracted him to join Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the 12th largest school district in the USA. During his tenure, he promoted digital innovation and technology based solutions as an answer to educational challenges and opportunities, and helped transform the organization into a premier technology integrated educational institution. He started innovative initiatives like the Technology@Home program[16] which helped Fairfax County students, faculty and staff members purchase technology products directly from vendors at educational discount rates and Vendor Technology Briefings to match cutting edge educational technologies for FCPS needs. During this time, FCPS IT was listed tenth in top 100 best places to work[17] by Computer World magazine, and was the only K12 organization in the CIO 100[18] list published by CIO magazine.

Obama Administration Career[edit]

Digital Transportation Exchange (DTE)

In 2009, Pradhan joined DOT as its CIO. Pradhan was the chief advisor to the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood relating to information technology. In his role as the Departmental CIO, Pradhan provided IT vision, strategy, planning and oversight for DOT's more than $3.0 billion IT portfolio,[19] the 6th largest in the Federal Government. Pradhan's focus at DOT was on using technology to drive mission and business value,[8] IT portfolio optimization,[20][21] streamlining technology services, creating an IT business catalogue and Online distribution(app store),[5] holistic cyber security[22][23][24][25] and public private partnerships like the Digital Transportation Ecosystem (DTE).[26][27][28] Some of the DOT technology initiatives included:

  • Modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS)-[29] Called NextGEN, which upgrades the system from older ground based radars to satellite and GPS based systems.
  • Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)-[30] A Connected Vehicles Program that improves vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure safety via wireless communications and threat alerts.
  • Modernizing Analog 911 Systems (E911)-[31] Next generation digital VOIP 911 systems capable of receiving and sending internet protocol based voice, video and text.

Post Obama Administration Career[edit]

In September 2012, Pradhan established the nation’s first Federal Technology Accelerator and Partner Consortium called Public Private Innovations (PPI).[32] The goal of PPI is to drive public value through private growth by researching and analyzing government problems and matching them with business technology solutions; nurturing, adapting, and deploying technology platforms, products, and services for the federal marketplace and starting, building and growing government practices for new or existing IT contractors and technology suppliers.[33]

Public Private Innovations Logo

In, March 2013, Pradhan cofounded, an emerging products technology marketplace focused on the public sector. GOVonomy’s goal is to drive increased public value by regularly introducing cost-effective, cutting-edge, targeted technologies that specifically address the challenges and opportunities facing the public sector. GOVonomy connects public organizations with new technology products/services from growth companies and helps arrange strategic discussions, demonstrations and pilots for increased understanding,

GOVonomy star logo

education, purchasing integration of the emerging technology products for the public sector[34]

Mr. Pradhan is also an expert feature author and commentator for InformationWeek magazine and Merritalk publications.

Professional recognition[edit]

CIO Magazine: CIO 100 Award[edit]

CIO magazine recognized Pradhan and the Department of Transportation (DOT) by awarding the CIO 100 winner title for IT Portfolio Optimization program. IT portfolios in large organizations tend to expand over time, with an ever-increasing inventory of applications running on multiple platforms and duplicative systems or technologies whose ability to deliver value wanes over time. The DOT was able to proactively analyze and categorize its IT portfolio into three segments: grow, re-engineer, and retire and reduce operating costs and position itself for growth by eliminating tired or duplicative systems.[18]

ComputerWorld: Premier 100 Award[edit]

ComputerWorld magazine named Pradhan to Premier 100 award[35] list where he joined an elite group of top US IT executives. The Premier 100 was created in 2000 to spotlight individuals who have made a positive impact on their organization through their work in technology. Each year, 100 honorees are selected to receive this lifetime recognition award.[36]

Other Awards[edit]

At the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pradhan earned the prestigious national InformationWeek's The Government CIO 50: Driving Change In The Public Sector national award[37] for bringing a business person's point of view to management of the DOT's IT strategy, policy, and implementation. Under Pradhan’s leadership, US Department of Transportation IT has also earned InformationWeek's 500 IT Innovators Awards,[38] including one for an Open Government initiative and the other for FAA's NextGen. They also received the White House Open Government Leading Practices Awards[39] designation in two of the four award categories which included "Leadership, Governance, Culture Change" and "Flagship Initiative."

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Merritalk Article on Pradhan"
  2. ^ "InformationWeek Article by Pradhan"
  3. ^ a b "Center for Innovative Technology"
  4. ^ "LinkedIn Public Profile - Nitin Pradhan"
  5. ^ a b "Making the Web Work for DOT: IdeaHub, Blog"
  6. ^ "IT Reform at the Department of Transportation, Blog"
  7. ^ "IT Vital Signs, Blog"
  8. ^ a b "The Changing Role of the CIO, Blog"
  9. ^ "GSA Looks to the Future of EaaS, Federal Computer Week Magazine Article"
  10. ^ "IT Solutions – Connected Vehicle Technology, blog"
  11. ^ "Dataquest CIO Handbook 2012, Dataquest Magazine Interview"
  12. ^ "Potomac Knowledge Way – New Economy in Greater Washington DC (archived site)"
  13. ^ "Netpreneur Exchange – Internet Entrepreneurship in Greater Washington DC (archived site)"
  14. ^ "Morino Institute - Internet and the New Economy"
  15. ^ "Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) - trade association for the technology community in Northern Virginia"
  16. ^ "Technology@Home – Technology Products for Home Use"
  17. ^ "100 Best Places to Work in IT Companies in Information Technology, Computer World Magazine"
  18. ^ a b "CIO 100 Winners Profile – Fairfax County Public Schools, CIO Magazine"
  19. ^ "US DOT IT Portfolio"
  20. ^ "IT Portfolio Rationalization – Effective Optimization of IT Funds, Blog"
  21. ^ "DOT CIO: Portfolio Rationalization Key, FedScoop Article"
  22. ^ "The Business of Cyber security, Blog"
  23. ^ "DOT CIO Questions FISMA Audits' Value, Government Info Security Magazine Article"
  24. ^ "DOT Falls Short in Annual FISMA Audit, InfoRisk Today Magazine Article"
  25. ^ "DOT Continuous Monitoring Shortfalls Highlighted in OIG Audit Report, FISMA Focus Magazine Article"
  26. ^ "Transportation Dept. Creates Online Technology Exchange, InformationWeek Magazine Article"
  27. ^ Digital Transportation Exchange: An Open Government And Web 2.0 Initiative, AOL Government"
  28. ^ "Technologists: Leverage Your Talent/Ideas/Experience To Contribute To The Digital Transportation Exchange, Smart Data Collective Magazine Article"
  29. ^ "NextGEN National Aerospace System, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)"
  30. ^ "Intelligent Transportation Systems, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)"
  31. ^ "Next Generation 911 System, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)"
  32. ^ "Public Private Innovations - Our Champion"
  33. ^ "Public Private Innovations - Home Page"
  34. ^ "InformationWeek Article by Pradhan 2"
  35. ^ "ComputerWorld Premier 100 Lifetime Achievement Award, ComputerWorld Magazine"
  36. ^ "Computerworld Research"
  37. ^ "50 Most Influential Government CIOs, Information Week Magazine"
  38. ^ "InformationWeek’s 500 Award Government IT Innovators, InformationWeek Magazine"
  39. ^ "White House Open Government Award, announcement"