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United States Government

Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title 117

theodp writes: Bloomberg is reporting that Google X's Megan Smith is the top candidate for U.S. Chief Technology Officer. With a BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and experience ranging from General Magic to Google, Smith would arguably be the first U.S. CTO worthy of the title (the outgoing U.S. CTO has a bachelor's in Econ; his predecessor has a master's in Public Policy). "Smith joined Google in 2003. As vice president of business development, she oversaw many of its most important acquisitions, like Keyhole, the service that underlies Google Earth. She has led the company’s philanthropic division,, and served as a co-host for Google’s Solve for X forum, where distinguished thinkers and scientists brainstorm radical technology ideas with Google executives."
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Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title

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  • Story is false (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @06:02PM (#47792645) Homepage


    Prior to his career in government, Park was the co-founder of two successful health information technology companies.

    So a man who started two IT companies by the age of 35 doesn't have a background in Technology, because he got a graduate degree in business?

  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @07:03PM (#47792907) Homepage Journal

    Pfft. She's more likely to be discriminated against because of the uppity black man who nominated her.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2014 @07:52PM (#47793077)

    It is the Senate that approves or denies Presidential appointees that actually require approval.

    For what it is worth, the US CTO position was created by President Obama, just as he and his predecessor made up numerous Czar positions. Unlike the Czar positions that are created, this one actually does go through the approval process. However, considering that the first person to gain the title of the position was the secretary of technology (effectively the state-level equivalent) led to the near-collapse of the DMV by single-sourcing its data center through a major defense contractor (I believe Northrup Grumman), which they failed to distribute across the state (therefore causing many state-wide failures on a regular basis). By contrast, Megan Smith is probably far too qualified for the position as she actually understands how to get things done and how to get them done correctly.

    Perhaps if you were better informed rather than frothing at the bit to announce that she is a she, and that she is gay, then you would have realized it was a non-issue. Yes, there are people that care (you being in the "care too much" category), but no one of relevancy is going to throw themselves under the bus to stop a Googler from getting a CTO position during an election cycle that the Republicans hope to win the majority in.

  • by DexterIsADog ( 2954149 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @10:30PM (#47793629)

    Well, these days, it's the lefties who poison the well of every issue with race and sex to justify passing laws that legislate privilege;

    Since she's gay, I would assume what you're ranting about in this case is the "privilege" of being allowed to marry the person you love.


  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @05:09AM (#47794495) Journal

    I hate to see things like this happen.

    What appointing a CTO based on the fact that the CTO is actually substantially more expert in technology than any of the previous CTOs appointed in that position?

    Appointing her just because she is female cheapens what I've done.

    You seem to be assuming that the reason she's being picked is something other than her track record---a track record which is impressive. That reflects more on you than on her or the people who picked her.

    Just as the joke of a new CEO of Microsoft who was picked for his race pisses off my Indian friends, this is the same deal.

    If your friends are claiming that Microsoft would poor candidates based on race then I'd advise to inquire how they think Microsoft chose Ballmer. He's white in case you hadn't noticed and was terrible.

  • Re:Pussy Power! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @05:18AM (#47794511) Journal

    Who the hell modded this shit up?

    This story isn't about gender issues, it's about tech issues. Smith seems to be the first candidate for the CTO who actually has a damn clue about the Tech in the Chief TECHNOLOGY Office position.

    Previous appointees have been from tech businesses but have had a business background. Smith has an engineering background and has been working actually doing tech.

    I mean, when was the last time you heard there isn't enough men employees in female dominated industries?

    How about every single fucking time this topic comes up on slashdot and people post scads of links about campaigns to do exactly this in order to counter this ridiculous and pernicious piece of misinformation?

  • by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @08:51AM (#47794915)

    There is no doubt that she has the chops and anyone would be lucky to snare an executive with her background and talents. But the article's focus on what degree she has is just silly. The brightest developer I ever knew had a degree in chemistry. The best Director of development I ever hired was an Air Force tech. The best COO I ever worked for was a lawyer / polysci major with no business classes under his belt. The best Director of IT I ever had earned an associates degree and got her A+ certification to get her first job.

    Meanwhile, the worst Director of Development I ever had was an MS of CompSci with an MBA. Guy was a tool and an idiot. The worst COO I ever had was an MBA with top grades from a top school. The worst CFO I ever worked with was a chemistry major. OK, that one kinda goes against my point. Forget about him.

      Still, my point stands:

    If you are still worrying about your degree 20 years out of college, you haven't done anything.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.