The White House announced that its next Chief Technology Officer is Megan Smith, who is currently a Google executive working in Silicon Valley. Smith is an MIT-trained mechanical engineer and entrepreneur that has decades of experience in the tech industry.
Currently, Smith is the vice president at Google[x], which is the lab for the company’s next generation projects—like delivery-by-drone and balloon-borne Internet connectivity. She also led the new business development team and spearheaded acquisitions such as Google Earth and Google Maps.
Alexander Macgillivray will join Smith in her new role, serving as the Deputy U.S. CTO. Macgillivray is a former Twitter lawyer known as a strong defender of the free flow of information online.
Smith will have a lot of room to explore in her new position in Washington, D.C. The role is still a fairly new one; it was created on President Obama’s first day in the office. According the statement announcing Smith’s new role, she “will guide the Administration’s information-technology policy and initiatives.”
Macgillivray will “focus on a portfolio of key priority areas for the Administration, including Internet policy, intellectual property policy, and the intersection of big data, technology, and privacy.”
Megan Smith is the third person to take the role as CTO, following Aneesh Chopra and Todd Park. Smith is replacing Park, who relinquished the CTO role last month to take on a new role in government as the leading emissary in Silicon Valley.
“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,” he said. “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.”