The United States’ next Chief Technology Officer will be Google executive Megan Smith, the White House announced Thursday.
With years of experience in the Google X research division, most recently as vice president, Smith has played roles in some of Google’s wildest projects, from self-driving cars to delivery drones to jetpacks.
Joining Smith as U.S. deputy CTO will be Alexander Macgillivray, a former Twitter lawyer known for being an assertive defender of user privacy and freedom of speech.
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Smith is be the third CTO to be appointed by the White House, but the details of her tenure remain unclear. Mostly, it appears that President Obama wants to have some of the leading minds from Silicon Valley around to help him navigate our increasingly digital world.
“Megan has spent her career leading talented teams and taking cutting-edge technology and innovation initiatives from concept to design to deployment,” Obama said in a statement. “I am confident that in her new role as America’s Chief Technology Officer, she will put her long record of leadership and exceptional skills to work on behalf of the American people. I am grateful for her commitment to serve, and I look forward to working with her and with our new Deputy U.S. CTO, Alexander Macgillivray, in the weeks and months ahead.”
Obama introduced the CTO position shortly after becoming president in order to fulfill a campaign promise to “to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century.”
Photo by Joi Ito