Heather Kuldell | Nextgov | March 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

White House Selects Deputy CTO From Peter Thiel’s Rolodex

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. J. Scott Applewhite//AP

One of PayPal's cofounders and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel’s aides will step into the role of White House deputy chief technology officer.

The White House tapped Michael Kratsios, principal and chief of staff at Thiel Capital, for the post in the Office of Science and Technology, according to Politico. Kratsios’ prior roles include chief financial officer and chief compliance officer at Clarium Capital Management—another Thiel-funded investment firm—and roles as an analyst at Lyford Group International and Barclays Capital.

» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Choosing someone with a background in venture capital breaks from the technology company and long-time government executives the Obama administration preferred since creating a CTO role in 2009. Aneesh Chopra, the first CTO, previously served as Virginia secretary of technology; Todd Park was an entrepreneur and had worked as Health and Human Services Department CTO; and the most recent CTO, Megan Smith, worked as Google vice president of business development. Deputy CTOs and other senior advisers were plucked from tech firms, such as former deputy CTOs Alexander Macgillivray (Twitter) and Nicole Wong (Google).

The White House has yet to name a new federal CTO. Though part of the Obama administration’s legacy includes creating White House-based executive roles dedicated to technology, the new administration can add or drop titles and offices to align with its priorities.

So far, President Donald Trump has named Reed Cordish, a Baltimore real-estate developer, as assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives, and Gerrit Lansing as his chief digital officer. Lansing, however, left the role after failing the security background check.

While Thiel has said he won’t take a job in Trump’s administration, he is part of the transition team. Thiel arranged Trump’s high-profile first meeting with prominent tech executives from Google, Apple and other companies that publicly supported Hillary Clinton, though the attendees also included one private company, Palatir, which Thiel founded. He reportedly got Yale computer scientist David Gelernter in front of Trump to be considered as his science adviser, as will as various former employees placed on transition teams at the Defense and Treasury departments.

Comments
JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.