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Google's Megan Smith named new US technology chief

Google s Megan Smith named new US technology chief CNET

Smith, a former vice president at Google X, is heading to Washington to help the Obama administration navigate the terrain at the intersection of tech and government.


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Google executive Megan Smith will become the country's new chief technology officer, the White House announced Thursday. President Obama also named Alexander Macgillivray, Twitter's former general counsel, to be her deputy.

Both Smith and Macgillivray are well-respected figures in Silicon Valley. Smith most recently has been a vice president at Google X, the division of the company that develops its most ambitious projects, including driverless cars and Wi-Fi beaming balloons. At Twitter, Macgillivray was known as a champion of free speech for the social network's users.

Cool! What extraordinary influence Google and Twitter have over US technology policy now!

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As the Washington Post reports, under Smith, the position is "expected to re-focus on being agenda-setting and forward-looking — something of the technological equivalent of the President's Science Advisor."

In a statement, President Obama stated: "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."

Smith recently separated from her wife Kara Swisher, who New York magazine recently called the the tech world's "most powerful snoop," after 15 years together. The couple have two sons together. 

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