Obama Taps Former Google, Twitter Execs For White House’s Top Tech Jobs

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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President Barack Obama on Thursday named two former Silicon Valley executives from Google and Twitter to fill the White House’s top tech spots.

Former vice president of Google X Megan Smith will take up the mantle of chief technology officer, with former Twitter general counsel Alexander Macgillivray filling in as her deputy, Reuters reports.

Smith’s resume includes projects out of Google’s advanced product development labs like the driverless car, drones, proprietary Internet service and Google Glass, while Macgillivray headed Twitter’s public policy from 2009 until last year.

“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 the statement announcing the appointments. “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.”

According to The Washington Post, Smith “is expected to re-focus on being agenda-setting and forward-looking — something of the technological equivalent of the president’s science advisor,” while Macgillivray will assist the White House on in-depth legal issues in regard to technology policy, including big data, privacy and intellectual property.

Smith, an MIT engineering grad, will replace Todd Park, who recently moved to California and continues to assist the administration with tech recruiting. Macgillivray fills the spot left vacant by Nicole Wong, also a former lawyer for Twitter and Google.

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