Vivek Kundra steps down as nation's CIO for Harvard job

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The nation's first chief information officer is leaving the White House. Vivek Kundra, who was named to the post in March 2009 to manage the day-to-day technological operations of the US Government, is leaving for a fellowship at Harvard University in August.

Kundra is credited by the Obama White House in saving taxpayers about $3 billion annually by streamlining government IT operations. He was also instrumental in moving Washington into the cloud, and strengthening the country's cybersecurity defenses.

"We are planning for a smooth transition, continuing these remarkable gains in changing the way the Federal government manages IT and Vivek's impact on cutting waste and making government work better for the American people will continue to be felt well beyond his departure from Federal service," Office of Management and Budget director Jack Lew said in a statement.

In addition to his other efforts, Kundra was behind the data.gov, which aimed to make government data available in raw form for use by developers. The Obama White House made the endeavor central to its 2008 campaign promises of a more open government.

A replacement for Kundra has not yet been named.

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