Since U.S. President Barack Obama was sworn into office, open government initiatives have gained much-deserved focus in Washington. From the Obama Administration’s transparency memo and’s migration to open source to the DoD’s well-received open source memo and the White House’s Open Government Directive, 2009 was certainly a banner year for open source momentum in government.

Red Hat helped drive that momentum, in part through our ongoing work with Open Source for America. Open Source for America, which launched in July 2009 with 60 founding members, now boasts more than 1,600 members from businesses, associations, non-governmental organizations, communities, and academic/research organizations. Following the release of the December 8th Directive requiring all U.S. federal agencies to develop Open Government Plans, Open Source for America developed a series of recommendations for essential elements that belong in every Open Government Plan.

As recognition for the momentum Open Source for America has achieved, Red Hat’s own Gunnar Hellekson, lead architect for Red Hat Government, was named to the 2010 Fed 100 list. Sponsored by Federal Computer Week magazine, the Fed 100 honors 100 individuals whose vision, passion, risk-taking and pioneering spirit have impacted and transformed federal IT. The list includes professionals from government, industry and academia whose efforts have affected change, progress and efficiency in determining how the federal government acquires, develops and manages IT. Winners are nominated by Federal Computer Week readers and selected by an independent panel of judges. Gunnar was specifically recognized for his ongoing work furthering open government initiatives, including Open Source for America.

Join us in congratulating Gunnar for this achievement, and also in our continued work with Open Source for America. Check out Gunnar’s commentary on what the Open Government Directive means for open source here.

Interested in the intersection of open source and government and how government can cultivate communities? Join the conversation on

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