Obamacare savior Todd Park quits -- to be replaced by Google's Megan Smith?

President Barack Hussein Obama II's CTO gets new role in Silly Valley

todd park u.s. cto

The White House's so-called chief technology officer is leaving. Todd Y. Park is going back to California, to spend more time with his family -- The President has plans for him there, too (he's not going to Chicago).

But who will fill his shoes? We bring news of three possible replacements.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers lead a dirigible. Not to mention: If you don't know about Chicago

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

If it keeps on raining, Steven Levy's gonna break (the news): [Groan -Ed.]

The White House confirmed today the rumors that Todd Park, the nation’s [CTO] and the spiritual leader of its effort to reform the way the government uses technology, is leaving his post. ... He’s moving back to the Bay Area he left when he began working for...Obama in 2009.

Starting in September, he’s assuming a new post...technology adviser to the White House...bringing a Silicon Valley sensibility to the public sector. ... America needs [it] badly. ... Achievements that Internet companies seem to pull off effortlessly—innovative, easy-to-use services embraced by hundreds of millions of people—are tougher than Mars probes for federal agencies to execute.

Park knows the problem is systemic—a mindset that locks federal IT into obsolete practices...rooted in caution...and adherence to bureaucratic procedure...that doesn’t just hamper innovation, it leaves government IT...unable to perform even the most basic functions.  

And Julian Hattem will have no place to stay:

Park will be responsible for bringing experienced programmers, innovators and developers into the fold to make government run more efficiently, the administration said.

The move brings Park back to his home in Silicon Valley...in time for his children to start school [there]. Park is just the second person to hold the title of U.S. [CTO.] He rose to prominence by helping to fix the ObamaCare website after its disastrous rollout.  

But who could replace him? Mean ol' Brad Stone and Brian Womack taught me to weep and moan:

Google Inc. executive Megan Smith...who was most recently a vice president at Google’s X lab, is a top candidate...according to people with knowledge of the matter. ... Courtney Hohne, a spokeswoman at Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment. A White House official declined to comment and Smith didn’t return requests for comment.

Smith...oversaw many of [Google's] most important acquisitions, like Keyhole, the service that underlies Google Earth. She has led...Google.org, and served as a co-host for Google’s Solve for X forum. ... Before joining Google, Smith was chief executive officer of Planet Out, a site for gay and lesbian [people].  

Got what it takes to make Verne Kopytoff leave his home, Dan Primack? Oh well: [You're fired -Ed.]

U.S. chief technology officer, as the role is informally known, oversees the federal government’s use of technology to create jobs, reduce costs and spur economic growth. Some refer to it as the White House’s geek-in-residence.

Google X [is] a skunk works of futuristic projects including self-driving cars, Internet-connected eye glasses and high altitude balloons that provide wireless Internet. ... In addition to Smith, the White House is considering Alex Macgillvray, a former executive at Twitter and Google, according to sources. ... A third finalist is also on the shortlist.  

Meanwhile, it don't make John Lilly feel bad:

We all owe [Todd] huge thanks. Profound changes from his time in DC. Huge hero of mine and incredible guy.  MORE

And Finally…
When the levée breaks, mamma, you got to move

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