The United States found itself without a Chief Technology Officer yesterday when Todd Park relinquished his post to go trawl Silicon Valley for IT types, but that spot may not stay open for long. Bloomberg claims that there’s already a frontrunner for the job: Megan Smith, the 49 year old vice president of Google’s moonshot-loving X division. If the rumors hold true, Smith would become the country’s third CTO , and the first not to trade one government job for another.
Google Inc. executive Megan Smith is close to heading to the White House. Smith, 49, who was most recently a vice president at Google’s X lab, is a top candidate for the role of U.S. chief technology officer, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Smith would become the third person to fill the CTO job, after Aneesh Chopra and Todd Park, who recently resigned and is returning home to California this month. Park will take on a new role for President Barack Obama’s administration as a technology adviser based in Silicon Valley, the White House said yesterday. Courtney Hohne, a spokeswoman at Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment. A White House official declined to comment and Smith didn’t return requests for comment. The CTO serves as a kind of White House chief geek-in-residence, tasked with overseeing the government’s use of technology, including finding ways to create jobs and increase the use of broadband.