August 28, 2014 / 7:18 PM / 5 years ago

White House says technology policy aide Park to take new role

U.S. Chief Technology Officer at The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Todd Park testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "ObamaCare" implementation on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 13, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House announced on Thursday that Todd Park, a technology and innovation policy adviser to President Barack Obama, is relocating to California to advise the president on technology from there.

Park, who had built a reputation as a successful information technology entrepreneur, was thrust into the public spotlight during the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act in the fall of 2013.

While not in charge of the technology behind the flawed web portal that crashed when thousands of Americans tried to sign up for health insurance, he was one of several administration officials summoned to Congress to explain the breakdown.

Park was deeply involved in efforts to fix bugs in the website, which eventually began to function smoothly. The rescue operation allowed enrollment to surpass expectations by topping 8 million people.

Park’s focus in California will be on recruiting skilled technology experts into government roles, the White House said.

“From launching the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, to opening up troves of government data to the public, to helping spearhead the successful turnaround of, Todd has been, and will continue to be, a key member of my administration,” Obama said.

Park was named in 2012 to be U.S. chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Reports of his departure for California, which the White House said was due to his family’s desire to return to their home in time for their children to start school there, first surfaced last week but were not officially confirmed.

Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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