Margaret Eby
September 04, 2014 4:03 pm

America, have you met Megan Smith? She’s a pioneering Silicon Valley expert and former Google executive. And President Obama just today named her as the next Chief Technology Officer.

Smith is a respected technology mind in a field where most respected technology minds belong to men. And now she’s bringing her skills to serve in the White House.

“Megan has spent her career leading talented teams and taking cutting-edge technology and innovation initiatives from concept to design to deployment,” Obama said. “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.”

Her job, as the Washington Post describes it, is “something of the technological equivalent of the President’s Science Advisor.”

The White House’s John Holdren had a more formal explanation for her role: “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.”

So, yes, she’ll be busy.

Smith is the third person to ever have the position, and the first woman. She comes from her position as Vice President of Google X—Google’s top secret research lab.. And she has a long history of helping women get a leg up in math and science. She’s a co-founder of The Malala Fund, named in honor of human rights leader Malala Yousafzai, which advocates for women’s access to education across the globe. She also created Google’s Women Techmakers, a company-wide diversity push to encourage women in technological fields.

All that and she was a member of the MIT student team that built and raced a solar car 2000 miles across Australia. So say hi, America. We’ve got a good one.

(Image via)

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