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Obama’s Raid On Silicon Valley Tech Talent Continues

Twitter and Google alum Jason Goldman will serve as the first U.S. chief digital officer.

Obama’s Raid On Silicon Valley Tech Talent Continues
[Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

The White House is on a tech hiring spree. Not even a week after nabbing a former Facebook engineer as its new director of IT, the White House just hired another Silicon Valley veteran. And he has quite the resume.

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Jason Goldman, a former product executive at both Google and Twitter, will serve as the first-ever U.S. chief digital officer, according to Politico. In his new role, Goldman will oversee the government’s digital strategy and the White House’s own digital outreach.

Jason GoldmanPhoto: Flickr user Joi Ito

For years, Goldman has worked alongside Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, going all the way back to early days of Blogger in 2002. In 2003, Goldman went with the rest of the tiny Blogger team over to Google, where he worked as a product manager for the better part of four years before rejoining Williams at Twitter as their VP of Product in 2007. Goldman, Williams, and Twitter cofounder Biz Stone later founded Obvious Corporation, the investment firm and incubator that famously gave birth to Medium and incubated Branch. Goldman served on Branch’s board up until the social chat company was acquired by Facebook last year.

It’s this type of seasoned pedigree that the White House needs to beef up the federal government’s approach to technology and digital media, especially after the botched launched of Healthcare.gov in 2013. Increasingly, the Obama administration is turning to Silicon Valley for help.

Last week, the administration hired Facebook engineer David Recordon as the first-ever director of Information Technology. Recordon will focus on ensuring that government software is up-to-date and properly integrated. Last year, the administration nabbed former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson to head up the newly founded U.S. Digital Service, a technology-focused apparatus formed last summer to take the lessons of the Healthcare.gov debacle and improve the way the federal government implements and uses technology.

While the details of Goldman’s new role are scarce, there’s a lot he’s bringing to the table as somebody who’s been embedded inside three successful tech companies, two of which are major-league brands that were central to the rise of the modern web. Historically, his primary focus has been on product development and project management.

Not only that, but a guy like Goldman knows his way around the Silicon Valley tech scene and knows plenty of people, a fact that likely isn’t lost on the White House as it continues to staff up.

About the author

John Paul Titlow is a writer at Fast Company focused on music and technology, among other things.

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