Chopra’s No Huang?

The Washington Post‘s local technology columnist, Ellen McCarthy, has a short profile today of Aneesh Chopra, the incoming Secretary of Technology in the Kaine Administration. The tone appears be one of skepticism as to whether Chopra can fill the shoes of the current secretary, Eugene Huang. As far as I could see, Huang’s shoes were usually in front of some reporter, straining to get more wunderkid coverage.

McCarthy gets good quote from the first ever technology secretary:

Donald W. Upson, the technology secretary under Gov. James S. Gilmore III, said Chopra will have a steep learning curve. “He’s got a lack of experience, that’s against him, but if he recognizes that and uses that office to bring people together, he can make a difference — I hope he does,” Upson said.

Ah, yes, technology is all about bringing people together, especially if they’re big IT consultants who might hire you when your term is up.

Chopra has his feet firmly on the ground, however:

Chopra concedes that he’s not an expert on the inner workings of technical systems. “What I brought to the table was an understanding of the capabilities of new technologies and how they might advance a particular agenda,” he said.

I think that’s a good attitude. New technologies aren’t about “gee whiz,” they’re about doing things better, faster, and with easy accessibility.

Here’s my advice for Chopra–call up Jim Bacon and sit down for an interview on your preliminary concept of the job and the challenges. Don’t let this unfounded skepticism fester. Take command of the agenda. You will face a lot of tough questions about the outsourcing deal your predecessors left.

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6 responses to “Chopra’s No Huang?”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    A thousand pardons but . . . Upson’s no Chopra liver and cannot Huang with the best of them.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    I know absolutely nothing about this man but the article makes him sound like just another rich boy Warner pal! UGH!!! Somebody, please tell me I’m wrong!!!

    Any teenager has an “understanding of the capabilities of new technologies” but that certainly doesn’t make them qualified to make decisions about the vast array of systems or manage the billions of dollars that are at stake in the Commonwealth. I would think that we would need someone with a huge amount of experience to pull the current mess together.

    Is VITA now looking at taking over healthcare or something?

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Anonymous 8:28 —

    Please, get off the pipe. Relying on the WaPo for the facts is hazardous to your health.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    True, True, I’ll remember that next time… Maybe it will be ok… Taking a deep breath now…

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Mr. Chopra has some pretty powerful friends. It appears he’s been a rather long-time acquaintance of Gov. Warner as well.

    Sanjay Puri/USINPAC lobbied for Mr. Chopra’s appointment. Mr. Puri is a member of the Governor-Elect’s Transition Team which recommends individuals to serve in the Kaine administration. Sanjay Puri, president and CEO of Optimos, was appointed to Attorney General-Elect Bob McDonnell’s Transition Committee and named co-chair of the Internet Fraud-Identity Theft Policy Group

    Political Donations:

    Blue Dominion Majority PAC (Mr. Chopra is a registered Officer of this Committee)
    Chopra donates $2,500
    The PAC donates $15,500 to dems

    Chopra, Aneesh P
    Chopra donates $10,746 ($5,200 in 2005) to dems

    Optimos, Inc.
    Company of Sanjay Puri, donates $10,000 to USINPAC

    Sanjay K. Puri
    Sanjay Puri donates $3,874 to dems
    $1,000 to McDonnell (Rep)

    Hey, another republican donation!
    USINPAC donates $4,000 to dems, $2,500 to repubs

    Hemant Kanakia, who remains close to Warner, and Chopra serve as co-presidents of Tie-DC

    Kanakia, Hemant R
    $85,000 to the Warner Campaign.

    This is an article about Warner visiting India. Mr. Chopra introduced him on this occasion.

    Introducing the Governor, Mr. Aneesh Chopra, Managing Director, Financial Le, Virginia said that Governor Warner is a true friend of Indian community and is fond of India. One of his objectives is to strengthen Indo-US relations so that it is of mutual benefit. He mentioned that Governor Warner had changed the economic scene of Virginia from a weak to a strong and independent state by working in a bi-partisan manner. He also pointed out that that both Governor Warner and he had set up the DC Chapter of TiE.

    He also said that companies in Virginia are not only keen in investing in India but also attract Indian companies to set base in Virginia, rated as the best managed State in the USA. “With the opening of an international trade office of Fairfax County in Bangalore, business ties between Karnataka and Virginia are bound to strengthen.”

    Tie-DC was previously known as the Indian CEO High-Tech Council.

    Also in attendance; Sudhakar Shenoy, a buddy of George Newstrom.

    Just interesting information… I guess it pays to run in the right “circle of friends” in Virginia.

    No wonder Warner was so reluctant to say that he would not support outsourcing to India. I remember reading several articles where he edged ever so closely to saying it was a good idea. Then the Northrop Grumman deal came about. I sure hope Mr. Chopra and Mr. Kaine do not intend to outsource Virginia jobs to India. It may be cheaper for the companies but US Citizens need jobs too!

    Hmmm… I wonder how Mr. Warner will save the Federal Gov’t. a few billion dollars if he’s elected pres. Most of their work has already been sent to Northrop Grumman so where will he turn next?

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    No Qualifications: IF one never invented technology; IF one never owned Intellectual Property; IF one never owned nor invested in one’s own company, nor really ran a company. Vulture Capitalist exist in a world of not my money, not my business, not my company, not my invention. What makes them expert? Money buys politicians, friends, jobs & favors; do donations by civil rights too? What happened to American Main Street, or is it just Wall Street, World Trade, importing American technology to America. Counterfeit goods are cheaper! Stick with the slogan ‘Virginia is for lovers’ not business.

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