Two Indian Americans named on Obama team

April 18th, 2009 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 18 (IANS) President Barack Obama has formed a three-man team, including two Indian Americans, to help break Washington’s “bad habits” of wasteful spending and move recession-hit America from recovery to prosperity.

“If we’re to going to rebuild our economy on a solid foundation, we need to change the way we do business in Washington,” Obama said in his weekly address Saturday.

“We need to restore the American people’s confidence in their government - that it is on their side, spending their money wisely, to meet their families’ needs.”

Announcing the appointment of Indian American Aneesh Chopra, currently Virginia’s secretary of technology, to serve as the chief technology officer, Obama said: “Aneesh will promote technological innovation to help achieve our most urgent priorities - from creating jobs and reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure.”

Chopra presently leads Virginia’s strategy to effectively leverage technology in government reform, to promote the state’s innovation agenda, and to foster technology-related economic development.

Previously, he worked as managing director with the Advisory Board Company, leading the firm’s Financial Leadership Council and the Working Council for Health Plan Executives.

Chopra and Jeffrey Zients, a CEO, management consultant and entrepreneur, who was named as the chief performance officer, will work with another Indian American, Vivek Kundra, to help give “Americans a government that is effective, efficient and transparent”.

“Aneesh and Jeffrey will work closely with our Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, who is responsible for setting technology policy across the government, and using technology to improve security, ensure transparency and lower costs,” he said.

Announcing plans to eliminate dozens of government programmes shown to be wasteful or ineffective, the president said: “In this effort, there will be no sacred cows and no pet projects. All across America, families are making hard choices and it’s time their government did the same.

“That is why I have assembled a team of management, technology, and budget experts to guide us in this work - leaders who will help us revamp government operations from top to bottom and ensure that the federal government is truly working for the American people.”

“None of this will be easy. Big change never is,” Obama said. “But with the leadership of these individuals, I am confident that we can break our bad habits, put an end to the mismanagement that has plagued our government, and start living within our means again.”

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