Megan Smith, Vice President, Google[x] appointed as the next Chief Technology Officer of the United States of America officially by the White House on September 4, 2014. Smith brings in over a decade experience as an executive in Silicon Valley.
Along with Megan Smith, Alexander Macgillivray, a former Twitter lawyer became deputy CTO of United States. Macgillivray is widely known as a staunch defender of the free flow of information online among tech circles.
“Obama will likely need the help, as the country attempts to stay on top of technological innovation while addressing the complications raised by an increasingly connected world”, mentions The Washington Post.
It’s Obama who revealed the idea of US CTO during his election campaign. Todd Park, the outgoing CTO faced a huge challange during his tenure as he managed to salvage the troubled HealthCare.gov project.
Barack Obama, President, United tates of America
Megan Smith has spent her career leading talented teams and taking cutting-edge technology and innovation initiatives from concept to design to deployment. 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.
Megan Smith is basically a mechanical engineer trained by MIT and entrepreneur. She currently serves as Vice President, Google[x] and was responsible implementing ambitious next-generation projects such as its delivery-by-drone Project Wing and its balloon-borne Internet connectivity program Project Loon. She also led the team who built Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Crisis Response project.
Prior to joining Google, Megan Smith was the CEO of the online LGBT community PlanetOut and worked hard to bring more women in the engineering and technology fields via the company’s WomenTechmakers program.
John Holdren, Science Advisor
Megan Smith will guide the Administration’s information-technology policy and initiatives, continuing the work of her predecessors to accelerate attainment of the benefits of advanced information and communications technologies across every sector of the economy and aspect of human well-being.
As I mentioned above, Alexander Macgillivray, Twitter’s general counsel from 2009 to 2013 took charge as deputy CTO. He is an alumini of both Princeton University and Harvard Law School. According to official sources, Alex will focus on policy matters, intellectual property, big data and privacy intersect.
Prior to joining Twitter, Macgillivray worked for six years as deputy general counsel at Google, where he was deeply involved with the company’s legal wranglings over its Google Books search feature.
CTOs Before Megan Smith
- Aneesh Chopra (former Virginia Secretary of Technology) – 2009-2012
- Todd Park (health-care entrepreneur and former Department of Health and Human Services CTO)
Industry experts have been keeping an eye over the recent appointments since there are concerns about establishing close ralationships between technology giant and White House.
Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy
As a privacy group, we have concerns with the continuing role of Google officials working at the White House
Learnxpress is of the view that both Megan Smith and Alexander Macgillivray will not continue any relationships with Google and Twitter after joining White House.