schnell writes: MIT grad and former Google exec Megan J. Smith is the third Chief Technical Officer of the United States and the first woman to hold the position created five years ago by President Obama. But, as a New York Times profile points out, while she fights to wean the White House off BlackBerries and floppy disks, and has introduced the President to key technical voices like Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf to weigh in on policy issues, her position is deliberately nebulous and lacking in real authority. The President's United States Digital Service initiative to improve technology government-wide is run by the Office of Management and Budget, and each cabinet department has its own CIO who mandates agency technical standards. Can a position with a direct access to the President but no real decision-making authority make a difference?
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