An Interview with Aneesh Chopra, Former US Chief Technology Officer

On May 7, GovDefenders is hosting its annual Cybersecurity Virtual Event. This year, the focus is on continuous monitoring and identity and access management in the government at both the federal and state and local levels.

Aneesh Chopra, former and first chief technology officer of the United States, sat down with Van Ristau, DLT Solutions’ own chief technology officer, for a pre-event interview. As an assistant to the president, he designed the National Wireless Initiative, helped launch Startup America, and executed an “open innovation” strategy across the government built on private sector collaboration.

Van asked him the following questions:

  1. I'm sure you had challenges in defining your role as the first federal CIO. What aspect of your position did you find the most satisfying?
  2. Can you explain the term that you have used ... "the impatient convening role of government?"
  3. In your role as federal CTO, were you involved with cybersecurity?
  4. From a public policy viewpoint, do you find it straightforward to delineate between cybersecurity issues that have national security impact versus those that are criminal?
  5. The most recently published OMB FISMA Report (2012) says that 90% of enterprise security spending is for personnel. Do you believe that automation can bend the cost curve for cybersecurity defense and reduce the demand for more and more skilled personnel?
  6. Can you give our audience a preview of your keynote? What should they expect you to address?

On May 7, you’ll have the opportunity to watch Aneesh’s GovDefenders keynote “The Promise of Open Innovation – Securing Data to Solve Problems” for free and from the comfort of your desk. Register by clicking here!

The event will offer eight educational breakout sessions from the industry’s top cybersecurity vendors and a panel discussion on NIST’s new cybersecurity framework. It’s also anchored by two other keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Ron Ross, Fellow, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Federal Information Security Management Act Implementation Project lead
  • John Slye, Advisory Research Analyst, Deltek

GovDefenders is a group of IT industry companies who have come together to discuss government cybersecurity. The partners are: Dell Software, ForeScout, Symantec, BMC Software, Oracle, Red Hat, SolarWinds, and DLT Solutions. Visit for more information!