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Todd Park

Todd Y. Park
2nd Chief Technology Officer of the United States
In office
March 1, 2012 – August 28, 2014[1]
President Barack Obama
Deputy Ryan Panchadsaram
Tom Power
Nick Sinai
Nicole Wong
Preceded by Aneesh Chopra
Succeeded by Megan Smith
Chief Technology Officer, United States Department of Health and Human Services
In office
June 2009[2] – March 2012
President Barack Obama
Personal details
Born 1973[2]
Salt Lake City, Utah
Spouse(s) Amy
Children 2
Residence California
Alma mater Harvard University (A.B.)
Occupation Consultant, advisor

Todd Park is a technology advisor based in Silicon Valley for the Obama Administration.[1] He was formerly the second Chief Technology Officer of the United States,[3] replacing the United States' first CTO Aneesh Chopra. On September 4, 2014, it was announced that Megan Smith will replace Park.[4]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Athenahealth, Castlight, and Ashoka 2
  • Department of Health and Human Services 3
  • US Chief Technology Officer 4
  • Involvement with 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Park was born in 1973 in Salt Lake City, Utah to South Korean immigrant parents. His father was a chemical engineer, who reportedly had "more patents than anybody in Dow Chemical’s history except for Dr. Dow himself."[5] He graduated from the Columbus Academy in 1990.[6] In that year he was named a Presidential Scholar.[6] He attended Harvard as an economics major where he met his future wife and mother of his two children, Amy.[2] He was an outstanding student throughout his career, and graduated with a magna cum laude and a Phi Beta Kappa.[7]

Athenahealth, Castlight, and Ashoka

Prior to his career in government, Park was the co-founder of two successful health information technology companies. He began his business career as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Park co-founded athenahealth with Jonathan S. Bush in 1997 at the age of 24.[2] In one interview, he noted that his goal at athenahealth was "Healthcare IT, not technology sitting there naked and expensive and not very effective and efficient at actually helping, but technology utilized to help re-architect the business and care processes in healthcare to make it more efficient and effective and to help consumer-directed healthcare and pay-for-performance move along more expeditiously."[5]

In 2008 he co-founded Castlight Health, named by the Wall Street Journal as the #1 venture-backed company in America for 2011.[8]

Park also served as a volunteer senior advisor to Ashoka, a global incubator of social entrepreneurs, where he helped start a venture called Healthpoint Services, which brings affordable clean water, drugs, diagnostics, and telehealth services to rural villages in India. In 2011, Healthpoint Services won the Sankalp Award for the “most innovative and promising health-oriented social enterprise in India.[9]

Department of Health and Human Services

In 2009, he was approached by Bill Corr to be the chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.[2] and was appointed CTO that same year by President Barack Obama. At HHS, he has been a leader in bringing the notion of "big data" to healthcare. He has expressed his ambition to create an open health data platform analogous to the National Weather Service, which feeds data to commercial weather sites and applications.[10] He has also described his desire to create a "holy cow machine for healthcare" that shows waste.[11]

At HHS, he was an advocate for applying open innovation and the Lean Startup approach to government initiatives.[12] Under Park, HHS has applied open innovation—sometimes called crowdsourcing—to leverage the distributed intelligence of people outside of government. According to the New York Times, Park believes that releasing health data through will support the agency's public health goals and catalyze new business opportunities in mhealth and eHealth.[13] In 2010, Fast Company magazine named him one of the 100 Most Innovative People in Business.[14]

Park ran his team inside of the massive government agency "like a Silicon Valley company," according to the Atlantic.[2] That approach was particularly relevant in the development of, the first government website that provides consumers with a searchable database of public and private health insurance plans available across the U.S. by zip code.[15]

Park speaks at Consumer E-Health Summit

At HHS, Park also launched the Community Health Data Initiative, a developer conference and showcase to encourage the development of innovative healthcare applications using open government data. By its fourth year, the event, renamed the Health Datapalooza, grew to over 2000 attendees, receives coverage from technology blogs, and has participation from venture capitalists, physicians and politicians from both sides of the aisle,[16] providing an example of a way that government can engage with the private sector.

US Chief Technology Officer

Todd Park leading Education Data Jam

In March 2012, President Obama appointed Todd Park to replace Aneesh Chopra as the United States Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. After assuming this role, Park worked with a variety of agencies across the federal government to replicate the Datapalooza in their respective domains.

Inspired by Code for America, Park also started the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, designed to bring top innovators from outside government for focused “tours of duty” with federal innovators on game-changing projects. The idea of the program is to combine the experience of citizen change agents and government change agents to tackle specific challenges at high speed, delivering significant results within six months.

Involvement with

The successful initial version of, which was deployed on July 1, 2010, was built in 90 days by Park and his team at HHS.[17] The first was cited by the Kaiser Family Foundation as one of the early highlights in the implementation of the healthcare reform implementation progress.[18] was also the first website ever "demoed" by a sitting president[19]

The following two versions, from the successful relaunch of the front end in May 2013 to the badly flawed marketplace that went live in October 2013, were developed by contractors and overseen by officials the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, outside of his purview within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. When the extent of the problems with became clear, Park was tasked by President Obama to work on[20] "trauma team" that addressed the "technological disaster".[20] Park, along with Jeffrey Zients, led the "tech surge" that ultimately repaired [21] over the winter, eventually fixing the marketplace sufficiently to enable millions of Americans to register for health insurance.


  1. ^ a b Holst, Lindsay (August 28, 2014). "President Obama Asks Todd Park to Continue Administration Service in New Role after Returning to Silicon Valley". The White House. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Owens, Simon (June 2, 2011). "Can Todd Park Revolutionize the Health Care Industry". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Howard, Alexander (March 9, 2012). "HHS CTO Todd Park to serve as the second chief technology officer of the United States". O'Reilly Radar. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ Primack, Dan (September 4, 2014). "Obama makes it official: Google's Megan Smith is nation's tech boss". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "HISTalk Interviews Athenaheath co-founder Todd Park". September 15, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Presidential Scholars Foundation. "Presidential Scholars Foundation". Presidential Scholars Foundation. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Todd Park, new US chief technology officer". March 10, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ Debaise, Colleeen and Austin, Scott (March 10, 2011). "The Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies".  
  9. ^ Correa, Chris (May 20, 2011). "Healthpoint Services wins prestigious Sankalp Award, Announces Investment by Fontus Water". Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ Howard, Alexander (June 2, 2010). "Making community health information as useful as weather data". The O'Reilly Radar. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Creating a Holy Cow Machine For Healthcare". O'Reilly Media Gov 2.0 Summit. September 8, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ Manuel Balce Ceneta (August 16, 2011). "Innovation: It's a question of leadership". Washington Post. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ Bornstein, David (February 22, 2012). "Innovation for the People, by the People". New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ Scott, Ellen (May 28, 2010). "Beth Noveck and Todd Park Named Two of Most Creative People in Government". Executive Gov. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Social Return on Data". Business Week. February 23, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ Rank, Jody (March 7, 2012). "Health Datapalooza Takes the Pulse of mHealth". GigaOM Pro. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ Rusli, Evelyn (August 6, 2010). "Behind How Washington Is Drawing Inspiration From Silicon Valley, Twitter". Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ Altman, Drew (September 23, 2010). "Health reform's six-month checkup". Washington Post. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  19. ^ "President Obama demos". YouTube. .
  20. ^ a b Stephen Brill (February 27, 2014). "Obama's trauma team". Retrieved August 23, 2014. 
  21. ^ Brill,Steven (February 27, 2014). "Obama's Trauma Team". Time. 

External links

  • Shwen Gwee interviews Todd Park (HHS) and Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Media) @ SXSW 2011, March 2011
  • The World's Leading Data Scientists: #5, Todd Park, Forbes, November 2, 2011.
  • Health Datapalooza
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