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The Revolving Door, IT Skills and Public Policy

A former Microsoft executive will replace Vivek Kundra as the new Federal CIO, we learned last week. Steven VanRoekel was a senior director for Microsoft's Windows Server Solutions group and also aided Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on "speech and strategy" issues, among other accomplishments.

Federal IT policy will now be set by a former Microsoft official. It will be one of many efforts where Microsoft stays close to Washington lawmakers to influence the public agenda. Microsoft is also engaged at the governmental level with rewriting U.S. patent laws by supporting the America Invents Act. The company also advocates changes to immigration policies to speed up the visa permit process for talented foreigners, as well as educational reforms to better focus on developing skills that might be used to produce better U.S. programmers or IT professionals.

VanRoekel did advocate the use of the open source Drupal content management system at the FCC. Can we believe that he'll also advocate the use of Linux servers as Federal CIO? Does his appointment represent a conflict of interest? Tell Doug how you vote at dbarney@redmondmag.com.
-By Kurt Mackie

Posted by Kurt Mackie on 08/08/2011 at 1:18 PM


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