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Kundra, Vivek (Information Czar)



Title: Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Reports to: Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag
Duties: Overseeing other federal agency CIOs and for setting technology policy across the government

  • Born in Delhi, India
  • Moved with his family to Tanzania when he was a year old
  • Moved with his family to Maryland when he was 11
  • Majored in psychology and biology at the University of Maryland
  • Earned a master’s degree in information technology from the University of Maryland
  • Helped start a next-generation robot technology company called eRush
  • Headed the computer security firm Creostar
  • Served as Virginia's Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade, 2006 to 2007
  • Became Chief Technology Officer for District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s administration in 2007
  • Joined Obama presidential transition team in 2008
  • One week after President Obama had announced that Kundra would be the new CIO, federal authorities raided Kundra's old DC government office and arrested two technology office managers, Yusuf Acar and Sushil Bansal, on charges of fraud and bribery that allegedly had defrauded the city out of at least half a million dollars. Kundra was put on leave for five days while the FBI investigated the matter; he was then reinstated after the FBI said he was not a suspect in the case.
  • In her book Culture of Corruption, author Michelle Malkin observes: “Team Obama emphasized that Kundra had no idea what was going on in his workplace, which employed about 300 workers. But if his claimed ignorance is supposed to exonerate Kundra, what does it suggest about his ability to police government technology operations across the entire federal government? And what responsibility and oversight exactly did Kundra have over the indicted employees in his office? The buck stops where? Veteran DC newspaper columnist Jonetta Rose Barras reported that [Yusuf] Acar ‘was consistently promoted by his boss, Vivek Kundra, receiving with each move increasing authority over sensitive information and operating with little supervision …” (p. 159).


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