White House names Ed Felten deputy CTO

Ed Felten, pictured in 2007, was named U.S. deputy CTO Monday. (Joy Ito/Flickr)

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The White House added another tech-savvy mind to its ranks Monday, naming noted computer scientist Ed Felten as deputy chief technology officer.

Felten had been serving as a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, where he is also the founding director of the Center for Information Technology Policy. Prior to his time at Princeton, Felten served as the Federal Trade Commission’s first CTO.

Felten will work in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, becoming the fourth deputy CTO under U.S. CTO Megan Smith. Felten joins Deputy CTOs Alex Macgillivray, Ryan Panchadsaram and DJ Patil. Patil also serves as the U.S. chief data scientist.

Felten, whose work in computer security has spanned three decades, helped engineer various systems like Microsoft Windows and the Secure Digital Music Initiative.

He also has spent time exposing serious security flaws in voting machines, which prompted one company to threaten legal action if Felten exposed the vulnerabilities. Felten published the results of his research a few weeks later.

Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University professor who worked with Felten on a voting machine project, told FedScoop he was excited about Felten’s appointment.

“I think Ed is the best possible choice for this position,” Rubin told FedScoop via email.

Felten has also published two books focused on security within the Java programming language.

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Ed Felten, Government IT News, White House, workforce
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