It’s been widely reported that the two finalists for the job as the first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Nation are Vivek Kundra, current CTO of the District of Columbia and Padmasree Warrior, current CTO of CISCO. While both candidates of Indian descent are surely highly qualified, I like the geospatial exposure that Kundra would have had at the District of Columbia. I don’t discount that Warrior may have a knowledge and appreciation for geospatial tools, I just think that Kundra would be more apt to have been in on the administration of some geospatial projects, particularly related to emergency management and likely in an emergency operations center setting.
The utility of GIS has been widely praised in this past administration for geospatial intelligence and emergency response situations. With the incoming administration more focused on global warming, infrastructure, and energy, I’m guessing we’ll see a broader set of interesting large-scale geospatial projects. Having a CTO that can appreciate the benefits of GIS isn’t an outright necessity, as I think the technology can be quickly grasped and appreciated, but a total lack of learning curve might be beneficial in terms of the speed that new projects can be implemented.