Aneesh Chopra – The Next Millionaire From Our Rural Communities

From Z. Kelly Queijo:

On April 18, 2009, President Obama announced the appointment of Aneesh Chopra as the first federal Chief Technology Officer. Chopra currently holds the position of Secretary of Technology for the state of Virginia.

According to Kevin Hall, Director of Communications for U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, Virginia is the first in the nation to establish a chief of technology at the state level. Former Governor Jim Gilmore created this cabinet-level position in 1998.

The headline for the Wall Street Journal's article on this topic reads “Tech Industry Cheers as Obama Taps Aneesh Chopra for CTO.”

Cory Donovan, Executive Director for the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC), is also cheering. “Aneesh Chopra has helped position Virginia as a leader in the technology economy and is a friend of the NCTC. Secretary Chopra is aware of the budding technology community in the NewVa region, the innovative companies we have here, and what those firms will contribute to pulling our economy out of this recession.”

Chopra has attended several NCTC events and is host to COVITS (the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Innovative Technology Symposium) annual technology summit. He is also responsible for the launch of Virginia's Productivity Investment Fund, a funding program designed to encourage development of innovative programs that result in cost-savings and improvements in efficiency that could potentially benefit the Commonwealth.

In an earlier interview for Handshake 2.0, Chopra stated “We're very confident that now that we are connected through a much more robust broadband infrastructure, entrepreneurs anywhere in Virginia can build a Facebook application. We might have the next millionaire coming from our rural communities…” 

“It's hard not to be excited about Chopra's appointment,” says Donovan. “His appointment by President Obama will help improve the link between Washington and the NewVa region to the benefit of both the region and our nation.”

For more information, read the Joint Statement by Governor Kaine, Senator Warner on Appointment of Aneesh Chopra as Nation's First Chief Technology Officer.

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Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0.  You can follow her on Twitter, @zkellyq.

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