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Megan Smith Envisions a High-Tech White House

Megan Smith isn’t exactly at home at the White House, and that’s a good thing. The new Chief Technology Officer of the Obama Administration is better acquainted with the fast pace of Google and MIT, more familiar with Google Glass than the 2013 Dell laptop she’s now required to use for work. Regardless of the tech sophistication gap, Smith is patiently merging the high-tech life she used to lead in Silicon Valley with her new government position.

So far, she’s briefed Obama on recruiting top technologists—particularly women—into the government in order to build better-than-ever digital and mobile services, the New York Times reports. She contributed the idea of a brainstorming-and-prototyping day at TechShop, a “do-it-yourself design and fabrication space” in Arlington, Virginia, gathering health experts, engineers, and designers to work on improving protective suits for Ebola fighters. 

Smith also launched an audio program to tell the untold history of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). “Telling and sharing these stories will actively help create more of them in the future,” Smith wrote with Dr. Jo Handelsman, the head of the White House Science Division, in a blog post introducing the project. “Research shows us that a key part of inspiring more young people to pursue careers in science and technology is simply sharing the stories of role models like them in these fields who have had significant impact on our world.”

Hear how Smith got to the White House in her MAKERS profile below, then tune in on Twitter to be a part of her Q&A at CES Girls Lounge