The chief information officer of the United States government, Vivek Kundra, is to step down later this year to become an academic.
He will divide his time between two departments of Harvard university, the Shorenstein Centre on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society.
Formerly chief technology office of the District of Columbia (DC) and a technology advisor to President Barack Obama, Kundra became the first ever government-wide CIO in 2008.
Kundra lead the US government’s pioneering open data initiatives, and in 2009 oversaw the launch of data.gov, the web based public sector data repository that inspired similar efforts by governments around the world, including data.gov.uk.
Open data initiatives in the US suffered a recent blow, however, after a recent bill slashed funding for e-government projects from an expected $35 million to just $8 million. "While we believe that we can make progress on several important initiatives, several projects will experience a sharp decline given the limited amount of funding," Kundra wrote in response to the cuts. "No project will go unaffected."
He was also a proponent of cloud computing, initiating a "cloud first" policy for government IT procurement.