Is Susannah Fox the right choice for chief technology officer at HHS?

Use the form below to tell us whether the new HHS CTO's lack of computer science training should have eliminated her from consideration
By Richard Pizzi
01:15 PM

This past week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services named Susannah Fox as its new chief technology officer. Most recently, Fox was "Entrepreneur in Residence" at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but she previously spent 14 years at the Pew Research Center, directing the organization's consumer-focused health and technology research.

Industry reaction has been somewhat muted. Initial feedback from Healthcare IT News readers has been positive, although some critics – including some of our readers – have questioned whether Fox is the right choice for the job. The third HHS CTO, Fox is not a computer scientist or an engineer, and has no formal information technology training. To some in the health IT industry, that stands out, given the CVs of her predecessors: Bryan Sivak was an infrastructure architect and IT entrepreneur, while Todd Park too was a healh IT entrepreneur as well as a business consultant.

Traditionally, a technology or healthcare industry CTO has a deep technical background, regardless of having moved to the strategy-focused C-suite. So, given the technology problems HHS has had in recent years -- think the rollout debacle -- should HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell have put a savvy systems engineer or former health system CTO in the HHS CTO chair?

Here's your chance to weigh in. Please vote in the poll below, and then let us know what you think. We won't share personal identifying information, but responses may be featured in a later article on Healthcare IT News.

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