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Obama tech policy maven moves to Silicon Valley role

By Mark Felsenthal and Edwin Chan

WASHINGTON D.C./SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Todd Park, President Barack Obama's chief technology officer who played a role in fixing the flawed Healthcare.gov website, is moving to a new job recruiting top Silicon Valley talent to government, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top adviser to Obama, will move to the West Coast at the end of the month as part of a White House team, the source said on condition of anonymity because it has not been made public.

Park became a political target last fall as Republican lawmakers tried to assign blame for the glitch-ridden rollout of the website, the main portal to buy healthcare coverage through federal exchanges. Park was heavily involved in the effort to try to fix the bugs.

His move to California signals a growing effort by the government to try to recruit from Silicon Valley. Earlier this month, Park helped the White House lure Google engineer Mikey Dickerson to Washington to take a role bolstering the government's computer systems.

In his new assignment, Park will help channel ideas from the tech community, the source added.

It is unclear who will replace Park. The White House has held discussions with former executives at Google, LinkedIn and Twitter about a potential replacement, according to Fortune, which first reported his move on Friday.

Park was a donor to Obama's 2008 election campaign. He was recommended for his current job by Aneesh Chopra, Obama's first chief technical officer.

Moves from Washington into highly paid technology jobs have often attracted more attention.

Regina Dugan, head of the Advanced Technology and Projects group at Google was formerly headed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, was once chief of staff for the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Technology companies have taken a growing interest in the workings of Washington, in part because the revelations of former contractor Edward Snowden about government spying have affected their businesses.

In turn, the government has been trying to learn from start-up culture.

Earlier this year, it opened 18F, a digital-services agency based inside the government's General Services Administration. It uses open-source code and other technologies that most of the government has been slow to adopt.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal and Edwin Chan; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Dan Grebler, Diane Craft and Ken Wills)

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