An open farewell to Vivek Kundra |

An open farewell to Vivek Kundra

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Friends –

Vivek Kundra, the Federal CIO, is leaving government for academia, and today a new Federal CIO was named. Below, you’ll find a letter from Open Source for America wishing Mr. Kundra well.

In about a week, we’ll have the opportunity to present him this letter in person. We’d love to have the OSFA membership and supporters co-sign the letter as a way of thanking Mr. Kundra for all he’s done for open source in the Federal government.

So if you want to write a quick note of thanks, visit our website and throw it in the comments, and we’ll make sure he gets it!


Open Source for America Steering Committee


Mr. Kundra,

For more than two years, Open Source for America’s membership has witnessed a tremendous change in the way the government thinks about information technology, and how it manages information technology projects. For the first time, a Federal CIO was able to articulate the way forward for much-needed reform, and we were extraordinarily fortunate that you were able to assume that role, setting an extraordinary example for all Federal CIOs to come.

Open source has witnessed an unprecedented popularity under your leadership. The need for more agility has led, for example, the State Department to examine the use of open source as a tool for facilitating international collaboration. The need to transition from capital-intensive IT to operations-focused IT has driven cloud adoption, much of which is based on open source.
Most exciting for Open Source for America, though, are the projects that improve public-private collaboration. By releasing taxpayer-funded software to the public, we allow citizens themselves to take a role in improving their government. The Veterans Administration, for example, now provides an open source EHR system through their VistA project.

You have been instrumental in leading this change, and for that you have our heartfelt gratitude. You have left a permanent mark on the Federal government’s IT operations, particularly through the 25-point plan for Federal IT Reform, and are very much looking forward to a continuing collaboration on that ambitious agenda.

Most sincerely,

Open Source for America



Michael Tiemann

Vivek was a great champion for government transparency and for helping to lower the barriers to citizen participation in government. When he first announced his ambitious goals, his critics scoffed that he would fail like so many past government IT projects before him. But Vivek learned from past mistakes, embraced open source software and The Open Source Way, and succeeded far beyond anybody's initial estimates. It was a real shame to see those in Congress who are most vociferous about accountability and efficiency literally cut the legs out from under the one person who was in the best position to deliver accountability and efficiency scorecards in real time. Such hypocrisy tends to make one cynical about Washington, which tends to lead the best and the brightest away from public service. I wish Vivek the best, and hope that his successor can find a way to continue the challenge of making our government more transparent, accountable and efficient, using the most transparent, accountable, and efficient software yet known: open source.

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Sean Rosenthal

Good riddance. He was a champion of offshoring, which is the wholesale destruction of America's workforce--and not just in IT but in many areas. He was a very poor choice and I'm glad he's gone. The new choice, hopefully, will be better.
I, for one, will keep an eye on him--as I did with Kundra.

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