Before being appointed the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith has been trying to make the world a better place through science and invention.
While earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT she was part of the student team that designed, built, and raced a solar car across the Australian desert in the first cross-continental race of its kind. After graduation she worked at technology based startup companies including Apple Tokyo and General Magic in Silicon Valley, where she was at the forefront of the development of early smart phones.
Hired as the Vice President of New Business Development at Google Inc., Smith was responsible for managing early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing leading many of the companies early acquisitions some of which would become Google Earth and Google Maps. She also led the Google.org team in creating expanded projects like Google Crisis Response and Google for Nonprofits.
In 2012 she joined the leadership team at Google[X]–an advance product team where her work on a range of products included co-creating/hosting SolveForX, a forum encouraging technology-based moonshot thinking and collaboration. While at Google, Smith also lead a wide-range of diversity and inclusion initiatives that included co-creating Women Techmakers and collaborating on outreach for fixing wide-spread gender, racial and anti-STEM/Technology unconscious bias in the media.
In continuing her efforts at making the world a better place, she also co-founded the Malala Fund whose goal is to enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. Smith serves as an advisor for the fund as well as being a board member for the non-profit Vital Voices, a group that invests in creating women leaders globally.
Continuing to follow her idea of service, she accepted the position as CTO of the U.S. in 2014. In this role she focuses on how technology policy, data, and innovation can advance the future of our nation.
Written by Angela Goad