1. Megan Smith Is the VP of Google X
Learn more about Google X in the report above.
Bloomberg reports that Smith was a “top candidate” for the CTO job. Smith currently works at Google X, which is the innovative lab portion of the tech giant. She has also been active in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Bloomberg explains what Smith’s position with the federal government will entail:
“The CTO serves as a kind of White House chief geek-in-residence, tasked with overseeing the government’s use of technology, including finding ways to create jobs and increase the use of broadband. [Former CTO Todd] Park helped to lead the effort to fix the much maligned Obamacare portal, HealthCare.gov.”
2. Megan Smith Will Replace Todd Park
The last CTO was Todd Park, who recently resigned. According to his official White House bio, Park graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. Here are some of his other achievements:
“Park and his team have worked energetically to open up government data to the public as fuel for innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic growth through the President’s historic Open Data Executive Order and Open Data Initiatives…
Park and team led the creation and launch of the first-ever Presidential Innovation Fellows program, bringing top private sector tech talent into government to collaborate with the best innovators in government on projects aimed at saving lives, saving taxpayer money, fueling job creation, and building a culture of innovation in government.”
3. The Chief Technology Officer of the United States Position Has Only Existed Since 2009
Pictured above is the very first CTO of the USA, Aneesh Chopra. Chopra was assigned to the post in 2009. Prior to 2009, the “Chief Technology Officer of the United States” position was referred to as “Assistant to the President, Associate Director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy.” Since leaving the post in 2012, Chopra has founded Hunch Analytics.
4. Megan Smith Is a MIT Alum
Pictured above: Jennifer Schenker of Informilo, Megan Smith of Google, and Candace Johnson of Europe Online speaking at the Digital Life Design women’s conference (DLDwomen).
Megan Smith did both her undergrad and graduate study in mechanical engineering at MIT. On her bio page at MIT (where she is an advisory council member), it is stated that “she was a member of the MIT student team that designed, built, and raced a solar car 2,000 miles across the Australian outback.”
5. Megan Smith Was Formerly Married to Tech Writer Kara Swisher
According to an article in NY Magazine, Smith was married to technology journalist Kara Swisher for 15 years. The couple have two sons, but no longer live together. In addition to writing books, Kara Swisher also contributes to Re/code.