TechNet CEO discusses company’s leadership role in innovation

Linda Moore, a 30-year veteran of the White House, Capitol Hill, and five presidential campaigns, is a senior strategist known for playing crucial roles for high profile leaders. The new president and CEO of TechNet — a national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that WIRED magazine describes as “tech’s most powerful advocacy group” — joined Aileen Black on Leaders and Legends to talk about leadership and discuss TechNet’s role as the voice of innovation.

Moore shared her view on what is takes to be a great leader.  She said the “most important thing in leadership is transparency and empathy. This creates a trusting relationship and things float from there.” When presenting to various audiences, she said she tries to think about who they are and use as few words as possible — deliver in a clear, unambitious manner was her advice for great communications as a leader.

A frequent lecturer on US politics, governance, and tech policy, Moore is a native Texan and a 1984 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she serves on the advisory council of Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. She was a resident fellow at Harvard Institute of Politics, where she led a weekly seminar on the decline of centrists and the increase of polarization in both parties and its impact on policy and politics.

Her long history in moderate Democratic politics includes time as a field director for the Democratic Leadership Council, deputy political director of the Clinton White House, and senior adviser to Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh. When asked about great leaders she had worked with in the past she didn’t hesitate to share her experience of working in the Clinton administration.

“President Clinton could really understand our roles because he had been a staffer. This gave him a great deal of empathy,” she said. “The Clinton’s really care about you; they really care about your family and always expressed a great deal of appreciation. President Clinton involved as many people as possible in decisions. He really worked hard; he really studied up and was always prepared. He was a happy warrior.”

She was later appointed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization. Moore added that one of the most important things she learned from working with the Clintons was that to really help people, you need understand their roles and show them they are appreciated.

When asked about her role as president and CEO of TechNet she shared that in this role one must provide a clear vision and strategy, but the most important thing is to build the right team around you who share similar values.

“When I came to TechNet it was in need of a turn around. I had a vision there was a need for a 50 state go-to for the industry. TechNet had a strong federal practice and I felt the same was needed to be the go-to adviser on the 50 states,” she said. “Seven years later we have achieved those goals and are the go-to in the tech industry for both federal and the 50 states.”

Moore said everyone has had bosses worth emulating and bosses who are not.

“I feel the open collaborative approach is the way to go. Leadership effects culture — still see it this day with the team from the Clinton administration. We still have weekly reunions and the Clintons pull us together at least once a year. That is pretty amazing in light that the Clinton administration ended over 21 years ago,” she said. “There was a really supportive, high-performing culture that was built. That kind of culture motivates you to give the best.”

Moore also shared her view on the Biden administration, saying that, “President Biden has great humanity and empathy but he is also very focused on results. A get-this-done attitude. This is a great example of the kind of leadership that is needed now.”

She serves on the board of the Women’s High Tech Coalition, and The Hill newspaper named her to its “Top Lobbyists” list in 2018, 2019, and 2020. She was also named a 2020 “Top Lobbyist” by the Institute of Lobbying and Ethics.

Closing with a discussion about TechNet, Moore called the company the “voice of innovation,” and with 84 members who are diverse across the tech ecosystem.

“That is what makes TechNet special — we really are the voice of those diverse technologies out there. We are a trusted adviser to policymakers across the technology landscape, an honest truth teller to provide advice on the impact on technology and its impact on consumers,” she said. “That is what the voice of innovation is all about.”

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Leaders and Legends

Leaders and Legends

Host Aileen Black interviews federal leaders who have left their mark on government and made a lasting imprint on the nation. Hear what goes on behind the scenes in the nation's capital and why working for the federal government is so unique. Subscribe on PodcastOne.

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