U.S. Chief Information Officer (2015-2017), CIO VMWare, Microsoft, GM and The Walt Disney Company
- Innovation and Technology
- Information Technology
- Women in Leadership
Audience & Industry
- Senior Management Groups
- The Technology Industry
- Women's Events
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.
Smith is CEO and co-founder of shift7, a company working collaboratively on systemic social, environmental and economic problems -- finding opportunities to scout and scale promising solutions and solution makers and engage proven tech-forward, open, shareable practices to drive direct impact, together. An award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist, Smith served as the third U.S. Chief Technology Officer from 2014-2017 helping the President and his teams harness the power of data, innovation and technology on behalf of the nation. Smith recruited top tech talent to serve across government collaborating on pressing issues, from data science, AI and open source, to inclusive economic growth, entrepreneurship, structural inequalities, government tech innovation capacity, and criminal justice reform. Work included broad capacity building by co-creating all-hands-on-deck initiatives, including the public-private programs TechHire, the Computer Science for All initiative, and the Image of STEM campaigns.
Prior to serving in government, Smith was vice president at Google for eleven years leading new business development for nine years and Google.org and later in the leadership team at X founding SolveforX and WomenTechmakers. Led acquisitions of Google Earth, Maps, Picasa and engineering transition of Google.org. PlanetOut CEO, Apple Japan, General Magic innovating early smart phones. Board member of MIT, Vital Voices, LA Olympics 2028, Thinkof-Us; Co-founder of the Malala Fund and UN Solutions Summit, advisor to Silicon Valley Comes to the UK and the Algorithmic Justice League. Bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, master’s thesis at MIT Media Lab. Member, Council on Foreign Relations and National Academy of Engineering.
*In partnership with CAA*
Biases in the Tech Industry
Megan Smith shares thoughts on and solutions for biases in the tech industry.
Megan Smith | The 2019 MAKERS Conference
Infinite Future: Infinite Roots - Megan Smith
Megan Smith on diversity in tech | Full Session | Code 2018
Megan Smith's Speech Topics
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 their colleagues 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 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.
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.