Obama names former Google X exec the country's third CTO

Megan Smith will help guide the country's IT initiatives

President Barack Obama has named Megan Smith the country's Chief Technology Officer. Smith joins the public sector position from Google, where she most recently served as VP of Google X.

At Google X, Smith worked on Google Glass, and driverless cars, among other R&D projects focused on tech innovation. During her tenure she helped Google acquire several key companies, including Keyhole, which became Google Earth, Where2Tech, which became Google Maps, and Picasa.

She is a Buffalo, New York native who graduated from MIT with degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Smith has worked at Apple at Planet Out, a site catered to LGBT community. At Planet Out, she originally served as COO and then as CEO. She married re/code's Kara Swisher in 1999. They have two children together, but are separated.

Obama's statement

"Megan has spent her career leading talented teams and taking cutting-edge technology and innovation initiatives from concept to design to deployment," Barack Obama wrote in a statement on the White House's blog. "I am confident that in her new role as America's Chief Technology Officer, she will put her long record of leadership and exceptional skills to work on behalf of the American people. I am grateful for her commitment to serve, and I look forward to working with her and with our new Deputy U.S. CTO, Alexander Macgillivray, in the weeks and months ahead."

Smith replaces Todd Park, who had served as CTO since 2009. Park was the country's second CTO until he stepped down in August in order to relocate to California. Park still works for the government, helping to recruit tech workers.