(Adds details on Park, changes headline)
By Mark Felsenthal and Edwin Chan
WASHINGTON, D.C./SAN FRANCISCO Aug 22 The U.S.
chief technology officer at the time of the troubled rollout of
Healthcare.gov is stepping down and moving into a new role
recruiting top Silicon Valley talent to government, a source
familiar with the situation said on Friday.
Todd Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top
adviser to President Barack Obama, will move to the West Coast
at the end of the month as part of a White House team, the
source said on condition of anonymity because it has not been
The move signals a growing effort by the government to try
to recruit from Silicon Valley. Earlier this month, the White
House lured Google engineer Mikey Dickerson to a role bolstering
the government's computer systems.
The National Security Agency has also been urging
technology workers to consider public-service careers. [ID:
In his new role, Park will help channel ideas from the tech
community, the source added.
It is unclear who will replace Park. The White House has
held discussions with former executives at Google,
LinkedIn and Twitter about a potential
replacement, according to Fortune, which first reported his move
Park, who joined the Department of Health and Human Services
in 2009, was called to testify before Congress in 2013 on the
glitch-ridden Healthcare.gov rollout. He subsequently played a
major role in the repair of the site, designed to be the main
portal for millions of uninsured Americans to buy coverage
through federal exchanges, which in turn was an important part
of Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act.
Park, the son of Korean immigrants, who co-founded
Castlight, a company that provides tailored data about
healthcare costs, and athenahealth, was not immediately
available to comment.
The move and new role allow Park, who grew up in Ohio but
whose wife hails from California, to return to California at the
end of the month in time for the start of school for his
children, the source said.
Park was a donor to Obama's 2008 election campaign. He was
recommended for his current job by Aneesh Chopra, Obama's first
chief technical officer.
Moves from Washington into highly paid technology jobs have
often attracted more attention.
Regina Dugan, head of the Advanced Technology and Projects
group at Google, formerly headed the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at
Facebook, was once chief of staff for the U.S. Secretary of the
Technology companies have taken a growing interest in the
workings of Washington, in part because the revelations of
former contractor Edward Snowden about government spying have
affected their businesses.
In turn, the government has been trying to learn from
Earlier this year, it opened 18F, a digital-services agency
based inside the government's General Services Administration.
It uses open-source code and other technologies that most of the
government has been slow to adopt.
(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal and Edwin Chan; Editing by Nick
Zieminski, Dan Grebler and Diane Craft)