The White House announced Thursday that Megan Smith will serve as the next chief technology officer of the United States, confirming recent rumors that the VP of Google's top secret Google X research lab would take the reins for the nation's top tech position from current CTO Todd Park.
Smith has held various high-level leadership roles at Google, and in her tenure is credited with leading major platform acquisitions such as Google Earth, Google Maps and Picasa. Prior to Google, Smith served as CEO of PlanetOut, an online community focused on the LGBT community.
President Obama commented on Smith's appointment in a prepared statement:
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. 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 leading nation's information-technology efforts, Smith will guide the Obama administration in IT-related policy initiatives – or as John Holdren, assistant to the President for science and technology, put it in the offical announcent, she will work to "accelerate attainment of the benefits of advanced information and communications technologies across every sector of the economy and aspect of human well-being."
Also announced was that Alexander Macgillivray will serve as Deputy US CTO.
Macgillivray most recently served as general counsel and head of public policy at Twitter, but in his new role the practicing developer and coder will manage a wide-ranging portfolio that includes Internet policy, intellectual property policy, and the intersection of big data, technology, and privacy.