President Barack Obama named Megan Smith as the next chief technology officer of the United States Thursday. She will succeed outgoing CTO Todd Park, who announced last month he was stepping down and moving to California, where he will recruit talent from Silicon Valley for the White House. Obama also announced that Alexander Macgillivray would serve as a Deputy U.S. CTO.
“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.”
In her new role, Smith will lead IT policy and initiatives at the White House.
In a blog post, Dr. John P. Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and technology, described Smith as an “award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist.”
Smith most recently served as a vice president at Google, where she co-created the innovation community project SolveForX and Google’s tech-diversity initiative Women Techmakers. Before that, she was the company’s vice president of New Business Development for nine years.
Before coming to Google, Smith was the CEO of PlanetOut, an online platform for the LGBT community. She also worked for General Magic and Apple Japan in Tokyo. She has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering.
Macgillivray’s work will focus on Internet policy topics, such as big data, privacy and intellectual property rights.
From 2008-13, Macgillivray was the General Counsel and Head of Public Policy at Twitter. He has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.