President Donald Trump has announced he plans to nominate Michael Kratsios, his current deputy assistant for technology policy, as the nation’s fourth federal chief technology officer.
Kratsios, of South Carolina, would also serve as the associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The CTO formally serves as assistant to the president, according to the White House.
Prior to joining the White House as deputy assistant for technology policy in 2017, Kratsios was principal and chief of staff for Thiel Capital, LLC, and served as chief financial officer at Clarium Capital Management — both investment management companies in the San Francisco Bay area.
In a statement, OSTP Director Kelvin Droegemeier expressed his support and confidence in Kratsios and his new position.
“Michael Kratsios is uniquely qualified to drive the American innovation agenda forward as the Nation’s fourth U.S. Chief Technology Officer,” he said. “As the Nation stands on the cusp of a bold new era in technological advancements, Michael will excel as U.S. CTO in ensuring American leadership in these emerging fields.”
Droegemeier, a research meteorologist, was confirmed as OSTP director in January.
There have only been three federal CTOs since the position was created within OSTP by former President Barack Obama.
Obama appointed former Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra in 2009 as the first U.S. CTO. Chopra was succeeded in 2012 by Todd Park, former CTO of the Health and Human Services Department. In 2014, former Google executive Megan Smith was named as the CTO, and she left the White House in 2017.
Traditionally, the federal CTO helps the president and administration harness technology, data and innovation to advance the country, as well as shape federal policies, initiatives and investments to support government missions. The CTO also works to anticipate and identify threats and consequences that come with advanced technologies.
Trump is particularly interested in advancing the U.S. through four key technologies: artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing technologies, quantum information science and 5G. These are focus areas for OSTP.