Kratsios, who currently serves as the country’s deputy chief technology officer, will be the first person to hold the title since the Obama administration.
President Trump on Thursday announced he would nominate Michael Kratsios to become U.S. chief technology officer, a position that’s sat vacant since the beginning of the administration.
As deputy U.S. CTO and deputy assistant to the president for technology policy, Kratsios has been the primary arbiter of the White House’s tech agenda since early 2017. He also served as the de facto head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy until meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier took over the organization in January.
In the announcement, the president also said he will officially name Kratsios as OSTP’s assistant director.
During his tenure, Kratsios has frequently and forcefully touted the administration’s research-heavy, regulation-free approach to technology. He was heavily involved in crafting White House initiatives to advance 5G and quantum computing, and promoting the national AI strategy the administration released last month.
His nomination was well-received across the tech community, with cabinet secretaries and prominent CEOs praising Kratsios’ commitment to maintaining the country’s edge in the global tech market.
“He has demonstrated sound judgment on prioritizing policies that will enhance American competitiveness in the jobs and industries of the future, and for working collaboratively across the public and private sectors to spark breakthroughs,” Aneesh Chopra, who under President Obama served as the first-ever U.S. chief technology officer, said in a statement.
National Science Foundation Director France Cordova said she was “thrilled” by the announcement.
“I have worked closely with Michael to strengthen the U.S. R&D enterprise for growing emerging technologies and to encourage the next generation of America’s STEM-ready workforce,” she said in a statement. “Through Michael’s efforts and support for research at the White House, America will be a leader among nations in artificial intelligence and quantum information science.”
As the government’s top tech official, the U.S. CTO helps shape policies on the nation’s data, innovation and technology infrastructure. If confirmed, Kratsios will become the fourth person to hold the position and the first since Trump took office.