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Obama Taps Top Tech Leaders

Just days after winning the election, President-Elect Barack Obama has recruited some of the country's foremost technology minds, in keeping with his campaign promise to boost the U.S. tech sector.

Obama's transition team, announced this week, includes executives from some of top technology companies in the U.S. Sonal Shah, head of global development initiatives at has been named to the transition team's advisory board, along with Donald Gips, group vice president at Internet specialist Level 3 Communications (LVLT).

Probably the biggest name from the technology and telecommunications sector in the transition team is Julius Genachowski, co-founder of technology investment firm LaunchBox Digital and a former chief counsel to ex-FCC chairman Reed Hundt.

"They have found people that are connected to some of the more innovative and open companies," said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association. "We're seeing the more dynamic side of the [tech] industry."

Black feels that Obama's transition team choices bode well for the president-elect's ambitious technology plan. This includes the creation of a cabinet-level chief technology officer, an ambitious electronic health care strategy, and making government data more readily accessible online.

"I think that a lot of people in the Obama circle understand that whether you're dealing with health care, education reform or budget savings, the intelligent use of technology will be a great benefit," said Black.

The appointment of a government CTO is likely to be one of the first steps in Obama's technology plan, and there has been plenty of speculation about who will fill the role.
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