Barack Obama added a key piece to his ambitious tech strategy Wednesday, appointing Washington D.C. technology guru Vivek Kundra as his federal Chief Information Officer.

Based in the White House, Kundra will work closely with Obama's yet-to-be-named government Chief Technology Officer, a potentially Cabinet-level role that has been described as the world's most powerful geek.

"Vivek Kundra will bring a depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations," said Obama, in a brief statement. "As CIO, he will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open and efficient way possible."

Kundra will direct policy and planning for federal IT investments, according to the White House. The CIO will also oversee federal tech spending, as well as ensuring information security and privacy across government.

Kundra's appointment focuses attention on how Obama will actually deliver his tech plans. Speculation has arisen that the CIO will be Obama's IT "fixer," whereas the CTO will be more of a tech "visionary" forging links with the private sector to implement the latest technologies.

The Blackberry-addicted president has a big technology agenda, which involves dragging U.S. government IT into the 21st century, as well as boosting the nation's tech sector.

Obama wants to overhaul the U.S. health care system by allocating $10 billion a year over five years to build an electronic medical record system. Other planks of the new president's strategy include making government data easily accessible online, making the research and development tax credit permanent, and extending broadband access to all Americans.

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