Officials from two of the world’s biggest technology companies have been named to top spots in the Obama administration.
Megan Smith, Google vice-president executive of new business initiatives, will become the chief technology officer while Alexander Macgillivray, a former Twitter lawyer, will become deputy CTO.
The Washington Post noted that Smith is an engineer “with a record of executing upon ambitious, even fantastical ideas,” including co-creating the “SolveForX” innovation community project and the company’s “WomenTechmakers” tech-diversity initiative. Macgillivray is “known as a staunch defender of the free flow of information online.”
According to the White House Blog, 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.”
The previous CTO, Todd Park, spent much of his time trying to fix the troubled federal health care Web portal.
Smith is an internationally recognized and award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. She joins the White House from her most recent post as a Vice President at Google[x], where she worked on several projects.
In announcing the appointment Obama said “Megan 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.”