Princeton’s Felten says he has not been approached by Obama’s team either, but believes a government CTO is necessary for these times. He sees the job as holding far-reaching responsibilities. “First, the CTO could act as the cybersecurity czar, ensuring that reliability of the government infrastructure is protected. And much like the role of presidential science adviser, the CTO could offer advice to the president on all areas of technology. The role could be a catalyst to push us closer to being a more entrepreneurial, high-tech country.” When asked if he would be interested in the job, Felten replied: “Almost anyone would be interested in doing that job.” Bezos and Ballmer were less forthcoming; each declined to comment.
I wouldn’t put Ballmer or Cerf on my own list; not because of any anti-Microsoft or anti-Google prejudices, but because of general conflicts of interest (in time, if nothing else). Ed would have to take on a pretty time-intensive burden to take the job, but it sounds like he’d be willing to accommodate it, and his areas of expertise are much more connected to e-government issues than Ballmer. Bruce would be another good candidate, but I don’t think he’s as interested in beating his head against political brick walls.
I absolutely think this position needs to be created, regardless of who wins the White House,