Industry veteran D J Patil, who formerly worked at the Pentagon, will take up the new post

The White House has appointed its first chief data scientist and chief technology officer for data policy. The new post will be filled by D J Patil, who most recently served as the vice president of product at RelateIQ, a software company acquired by the California-based global cloud computing company Salesforce last year. In his new role, Patil will assist in shaping policies and practices to help the US remain a leader in technology and innovation, foster partnerships to maximise the nation’s return on its investment in data and work to recruit the best minds in data science to join public service.

Patil will also work on the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which will use advances in data and health care to provide clinicians with new tools to personalise treatments for patients. He will lead the administration’s open data and data science initiative too. Over the past few years, the Obama administration has made more than 138,000 data sets available to the public for innovation and entrepreneurship, according to the White House. Before joining the private sector, Patil worked at the US Defense Department, where he directed new efforts aimed at bridging computational and social sciences in fields like social network analysis.