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Politics

Michael Kratsios Nominated as White House Chief Technology Officer

March 24, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Michael Kratsios was nominated by President Donald Trump as U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on March 21, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Kratsios was the Deputy CTO and Deputy Assistant to the President at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) appointed two years ago. Upon assuming his new post, Kratsios will also be an Associate Director of the OSTP.

A former venture capitalist, Greek-American South Carolina native Kratsios is just 32 years old. Before his appointment as Deputy CTO, his only other job in politics was during his time studying political science at Princeton when he interned for South Carolina’s Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, Bloomberg reported, adding that Kratsios’ record as deputy is encouraging even for Trump critics.

Aneesh Chopra, a Democrat who served as the first U.S. CTO under President Obama, told Bloomberg, “It gives me some hope. I’ve had no conversations with him that make me think he’s partisan.”

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty called the nomination “great news,” Bloomberg reported adding that she “credits Kratsios with ‘strengthening America’s leadership in technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.’”

Kratsios said his goal is “to take the president’s message and map it to a tech agenda,” Bloomberg reported.

“He’s been trying to devise policies to counter Made in China 2025, the Chinese government’s plan to develop the world’s top AI and 5G technologies,” Bloomberg reported, adding that “in February, Trump signed an executive order on AI that, among other things, directs government agencies to release data sets that scientists and private companies might be able to use to train machines.”

Of China, Kratsios said, “They have CCTV cameras on every corner and funnel that data into private AI companies, that doesn’t mean we don’t have data sets that are extraordinarily valuable,” Bloomberg reported.

About concerns over civil rights and liberties that could be threatened, Kratsios said that “the White House will protect privacy,” Bloomberg reported.

Kratsios graduated from Princeton in 2008 with a degree in political science and a certificate in Hellenic Studies.

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