Vivek Kundra Steps Down As Federal CIO: What Industry Leaders Are Saying

After two and a half years as the George Washington of Federal CIO’s, Vivek Kundra will leave for Harvard University at the end of the summer. At the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Vivek will hold a joint fellowship, focusing on his passions; cloud computing, open data, and digital media research.  Vivek has spent the past 10 years working in county, city, state and most recently,  federal government information technology policy.  It will be interesting to see what the next chapter of his life holds for him.

Although we hate to see him go, Vivek has forever changed the way government does business. Besides managing an 80 million IT budget and decreasing overall government spending estimated at 3 billion dollars,  Vivek closed 800 data centers and brought innovation to the U.S. government . With regards to transparency  and fostering a strong and productive private-public partnership, Vivek created the Federal IT Dashboard,,, as well has his latest 25 Point Plan.

See what the top industry leaders are saying about Vivek Kundra’s contribution to public-private partnership, the IT community,  and innovation within the government.

Greg Baroni, Attain CEO:

As the first official CIO of the Federal Government, Vivek Kundra has been a lightning rod for several important initiatives.  He has been out in front as the evangelist for Cloud First, a lead for transparency with performance dashboards, and a pioneer through the creation of the online marketplace.  Vivek set a new gold standard for the role of a CIO, and it will be critical for the Obama administration to appoint someone to fill his large shoes and continue the innovative work.


George D. Schindler, CGI Federal President:

“Through his vision and leadership in working with agencies and industry, Vivek spurred government IT innovation. The 25-point plan is changing the way government plans for, buys, and implements IT, especially on initiatives like cloud computing. As he moves on to his next career milestone, I believe that his legacy for innovation will continue to gain momentum as agencies move from vision to implementation.”


Eugene Huang, Former Special Advisor to the Federal CTO, Aneesh Chopra:

“A cornerstone of Vivek’s legacy, the cloud-first policy will allow the Federal government to improve IT effectiveness and rapidly take advantage of future IT innovations. The wisdom of cloud-first will grow clearer over time, reducing costs in an era of budget austerity.”



Dennis Stolkey, HP Company Senior Vice President and General Manager US Public Sector:

“As a pioneer in defining a cloud strategy for the federal government, Vivek Kundra’s vision has dramatically changed the trajectory of future IT initiatives. The adoption and momentum of Vivek’s cloud first policy will continue to drive IT consolidation and cost savings into the future.”


Sumeet Shrivastava, Array President:

“Vivek’s legacy will come much more from how he went about driving change, rather than any specific policy.  His passion and drive, on top of the Administration’s tremendous focus to codify and strengthen the role, was a perfect match for a critical inflection point in Federal IT Mgmt. ”



Stan Z. Soloway, Professional Services Council President and CEO:

“Vivek did an outstanding job of defining the vision of where government can and should be headed with regard to technology to a new and important level.  From his broad vision of what the future can be to his specific initiatives around program performance and an enhanced IT acquisition process, his contributions and impacts were many and significant.”


Lisa Martin, LeapFrog Solutions CEO:

“Vivek has been instrumental in leading the transparency initiative in all forms of government efficiency. Most notable is his knowledge and understanding of cloud computing which has not only been beneficial to government but to industry as well.  Vivek has given us a vision, now it’s our job to share it and make it happen.”



Manish Malhotra, Unissant Founder and CEO:

“Vivek Kundra’s vision and leadership to transform federal information technology will have a lasting impact.  His focus and promotion of sharable, reusable technology services deployed upon energy efficient, cost-effective cloud infrastructures has been heard and is affecting change.”



Don Hirsch, SRA International Vice President:

“In his brief tenure, Vivek Kundra has made a significant impact in how the Federal Government will do business in the future.   Cloud Computing offers a flexible IT infrastructure that can be shifted to meet demands, match needs to resources and keep fixed and capital costs down.  Cloud Computing is the future from where we stand today and Vivek set that in motion.”


Shiv Krishnan, INDUS Founder and CEO:

“Vivek served admirably as our nation’s first CIO.  He used his time serving our country well by advocating innovation in Government IT by deploying technologies including the “cloud”.  His biggest contribution is in making our Government begin the process of leveraging innovative and proven technologies in the marketplace to bring in efficiencies and operate more effectively with less resources.  His “Cloud First” policy, support of America Competes Act to reward innovation, and tireless efforts with the Federal CIOs to modernize Federal IT will all help our Government reap huge benefits as we move into the future. I am looking forward to Vivek’s new ideas to help Government IT from his new home at Harvard.  Vivek is a great leader and will definitely be missed.”


Dan Chenok, IBM Global Business Services Vice President for Technology Strategy:

“Vivek has had great success as a strong advocate for cloud computing and the benefits the federal government gains from the cloud — benefits like improved efficiency, faster access to new technologies, and energy savings.  His work to advance cloud computing across the federal agency community, as well as his leadership on making the government more open and transparent through numerous citizen-centered web sites, has helped speed adoption and ultimately improve how the government works.”


Greg Gardner, NetApp Chief Architect of Defense Solutions:

“There is sufficient momentum behind Vivek Kundra’s initiatives on Cloud Computing and Federal IT Management – and more than enough budget pressures – to carry those efforts forward.    Vivek’s work was visionary.  His reforms are accelerating actions by both the Federal Government and industry to develop practical, measurable efforts to improveboth cloud computing and data center consolidation.  For example, the Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD2) he initiated is continuing its work unabated and will render its report to OMB and the Commerce Department in late July.  In sum,  Vivek Kundra is a talented and dedicated public servant who by force of will, tenacity, and persistence has forced agencies of the Federal government – and, in turn, private industry  – to recognize and adopt modern IT capabilities, including cloud computing, to enable more efficient, more effective, more responsive government.  We thank him and wish him well.”

Join the conversation. See what people are saying on Vivek’s facebook fan page.

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