Kundra also worked as vice president of marketing for Evincible Software, which provided electronic signatures and identity management for financial services companies and the Defense Department. In addition, he served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland, where he received a bachelor degree in psychology and a master's in information technology.
As administrator of e-government, Kundra will work with the Chief Information Officers Council to formulate policy and help agencies manage IT investments. He could bring a different approach to technology than his predecessor. IT professionals in government and those working for contractors say Evans, who began her post as e-gov chief under the Bush administration in 2003, say she managed information technology as a commodity rather than a strategic asset. Kundra, conversely, brings a more activist approach that emphasizes using the latest technology such as Google applications to affect directly government performance.
One change Kundra may take on immediately is cloud computing, a process that stores all applications on remote servers instead of on laptop and desktop computers as a means to make networks more efficient. "The cloud will do for government what the Internet did in the '90s," Kundra told Nextgov in a November interview. "It's a fundamental change to the way our government operates by moving to the cloud. Rather than owning the infrastructure, we can save millions."
Teresa Bozzelli, managing director and chief operating officer for the technology research firm Government Insight, which worked with the Obama IT transition team, agreed that a shift to cloud computing would be beneficial for federal agencies.
"The government owning everything as opposed to buying infrastructure as a service really needs to change," Bozzelli said. "In the new model, you only buy what you use. The government is paying for no downtime. It's both a short-term approach for cost savings and a long-term strategy for bringing in advantageous technology upgrades more quickly."
Kundra also is a strong proponent of giving the public access to government data. "Why does the government keep information secret?" he rhetorically asked during an interview with Nextgov. "Why not put it all out in the government domain?" [Since arriving in Washington], I've made all the government databases public. Every 311 call, every abandoned automobile, who has responded, etc. It provides high-level oversight of the daily tasks of government."
-Kundra said to be Obama's pick for OMB e-gov chief