Susannah Fox, a former entrepreneur in residence at the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation, has been named chief technology officer for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Fox, who also served for more than a decade as associate director of the Pew Research Center’s health and technology portfolio, is filling the CTO spot left vacant by FedScoop 50 award winner Bryan Sivak, who left HHS in April.
A self-described data geek, Fox wrote on the HHS IDEA Lab blog about her decision — and her excitement to take on the new role. She said she looks forward to following in the footsteps of her predecessors, like Sivak, whose crowning achievement was creating the entrepreneurial IDEA Lab, and Todd Park, the man best known for his devotion to opening health data before moving on to be President Barack Obama’s second U.S. CTO.
The new CTO also wrote that she was drawn to the opportunity to “shine a spotlight on the role that citizens play in strengthening the health of our country. Technology’s true impact is only just now emerging in this area. The internet gives us greater access to information, yes, but even more importantly, it gives us access to each other.”
In addition to acting as CTO, Fox will lead the HHS IDEA Lab to spur innovation across the department.
“As the CTO, Susannah will bring her commitment to promoting the effective and responsible use of technology throughout the healthcare sector to improve health outcomes and the patient experience around the country,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement. “Additionally, I look forward to her continuing the important work of the HHS IDEA Lab and its dedicated staff to develop unique and effective solutions, while developing systems to improve and increase the impact we have as a Department.”