Megan Smith
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Megan Smith

Innovative Tech Leader; Chief Technology Officer of the United States (2014–2017) and Vice President of New Business Development at Google (2003–2014)

A pioneer in her field, Megan Smith understands that the future of technology is already here. She shares her catalytic, entrepreneurial, and innovative vision—which has transformed both the public and private sectors—with your organization.

 
Innovation Nation: How to Creatively Source and Accelerate Solutions to Our Most Significant Challenges

Can we scout and scale technology solutions to the biggest challenges our society faces using the venture capitalist model? Can we capacity build the American people? Megan Smith argues that we can—in fact, she shows that we already are. At Google, General Magic, and Apple Japan, she brought deeply cross-functional teams together to solve significant challenges. Smith adopted that same approach in the federal government, identifying patterns and best practices that are making a difference in towns and cities across the United States, and then exploring how to reproduce them in other parts of the country. From retraining and building confidence in coal miners in Eastern Kentucky to reducing prison populations in Miami-Dade County, Smith’s examples will illustrate how your organization can identify what’s already working and how best to replicate that success.

How Technology and Innovative Approaches Can Transform Your Organization

During her tenure as the third chief technology officer of the United States, Megan Smith fundamentally altered the composition of the federal government. Her team collaboratively recruited top talent “rabble-rousers” from Silicon Valley and other tech sectors to address such critical issues as artificial intelligence, education and training, urban and rural poverty, data science, and economic inclusion. Smith describes how they teamed up with colleagues to employ their talents and adopt new approaches to using data, innovation, and rapid iteration in order to create a more open, collaborative, and responsive government—and explains how your company can do the same.

How to Build a Creative, Confident, Inclusive, and High-Impact Workforce

Megan Smith believes that, in order to fully unleash your organization’s economic potential and competitiveness, you have to include a broader team in problem-solving. She refutes the notion that diverse voices haven’t always been part of the story, pointing to significant contributors from America’s “missing history.” Smith also explains how we can move much faster to retain and recruit inclusive teams, mitigate unconscious and institutional biases, and foster “ecosystem thinking”—bringing more people to the table, inspiring creative confidence, and solving our biggest problems.

Meet Megan Smith

A pioneer in her field, Megan Smith understands that the future of technology is already here. She shares her catalytic, entrepreneurial, and innovative vision—which has transformed both the public and private sectors—with your organization.

Megan Smith is an award-winning tech entrepreneur, engineer, and evangelist. As the third U.S. chief technology officer, she helped the President harness the power of technology, data, and innovation to advance the future of our nation and the world. Smith recruited top tech talent to serve across government and to collaborate on the most pressing issues of the day, from data science and open source, to inclusive economic growth and criminal justice reform. She focused on broad capacity building by co-creating all-hands-on-deck initiatives, including the public-private program TechHire, the Computer Science for All initiative, and the Image of STEM campaign.

Prior to her role as U.S. CTO, Smith served as vice president of new business development at Google, managing early-stage partnerships across the company’s global engineering and product teams. She led acquisitions of Google Earth, Maps, and Picasa, steered the shift of Google.org to include more direct engineering impact, such as Google Crisis Response, and later served on the leadership team of GoogleX, where she co-created SolveForX and Women Techmakers.

As CEO of PlanetOut, Smith was a leader of the online LGBT community in the early days of the Internet. She also worked as an engineer at General Magic on teams designing early smartphone technologies and at Apple Japan in Tokyo. Today, she serves on the boards of MIT, the MIT Media Lab, and Vital Voices.

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