Zillow Speaker Series: Steven VanRoekel, White House Chief Information Officer (VIDEO)

Steven VanRoekel, White House Chief Information Officer, stopped by Zillow to share about his position managing technology in government.

Posted in

When Steven VanRoekel moved to Washington, D.C., to take a job as managing director of the Federal Communications Commission in 2009, it was his first time working for government. The self-described “geek at heart” had worked at Microsoft since college and had never planned on working in public service.

Just two years later, he was tapped by President Obama as the nation’s second-ever Chief Information Officer, managing an $80 billion yearly portfolio of federal IT spending, overseeing and working to consolidate the 40,000 to 50,000 websites operated by the government, and doing his best to modernize government in a data-heavy, fast-moving and mobile age.

“We released a new mandate that any new data from the government needs to be machine readable,” VanRoekel said. “If we unlock all this government data and made it available to people, we’re turning it into real value.”

Citizens have bigger expectations because of technology, he said. “But you go to the Social Security site and download the form, fill it out, rip a sticker off a wall and wait an hour and a half to have someone type that form into the computer for you.”

“It’s forcing a massive change.”

Hear more about how VanRoekel and his team are transforming government technology in the video.

Want the chance to hear from politicians and others in person? Check out Zillow’s job page; we’re hiring.

Previous Zillow Speaker Series guests include: