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Help us interview Aneesh Chopra, Obama's CTO

CNET will be sitting down soon with Chopra, the president's chief technology officer, and you're invited to pitch in with the interview.

Scott Ard Former Editor in Chief, CNET
CNET former Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.
Scott Ard
2 min read

The debate over health care reform is white hot in America right now, but there has been little exploration about technology's role in improving delivery while reducing costs.

That's about to change.

Later this month, CNET will be sitting down with Aneesh Chopra, President Obama's chief technology officer, and you're invited to help with the interview.

Aneesh Chopra

Obama selected Chopra, formerly the secretary of technology for Gov. Kaine of Virginia, for this key position partly because of his experience and desire to use technology to reform health care. In announcing his selection, Obama noted: "In this role, Aneesh will promote technological innovation to help achieve our most urgent priorities--from creating jobs and reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure. Aneesh ... will work closely with our Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, who is responsible for setting technology policy across the government, and using technology to improve security, ensure transparency, and lower costs. The goal is to give all Americans a voice in their government and ensure that they know exactly how we're spending their money--and can hold us accountable for the results."

The appointment of an apparent Silicon Valley outsider had some detractors. The TechCrunch headline reporting Chopra's appointment stated "Obama Spurns Silicon Valley Vets, names Virginia's Secretary of Technology as CTO." According to the story, "The choice comes after months of speculation, during which many of Silicon Valley's most prominent figures, including Steve Ballmer, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Eric Schmidt (among many others) were named as possible candidates."

Others hailed Obama's choice. In a very detailed post about the role of the federal CTO and Chopra's experience, Tim O'Reilly concludes that Chopra is "a rock star. He's a brilliant, thoughtful change-maker. He knows technology, he knows government, and he knows how to put the two together to solve real problems. We couldn't do better."

CNET has a long tradition of interviewing technology leaders. For this interview--to be conducted by Declan McCullagh and Charles Cooper--we're mixing things up in two ways: the interview will be on video (with a transcript also available) and we're asking our users to participate by submitting questions. So please read the links included in this post (and the comments), do some of your own research, and use the form at the bottom of this page to participate. We will be publishing the interview on September 22.