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Office of Science and Technology Policy: U.S. CTO Megan Smith

Administration IT budget
for FY 2016 $79.49 billion

- Human capital 
- Capacity building
- Cybersecurity

If the government ever does become the bastion of smarter IT practices, the public will have Megan Smith to thank. Not only is Smith trying to pave the way for smarter IT and tech policy, she is also trying to implant enough bright minds into the government space so federal agencies never have to play catch up again when it comes to technology.

“Our team is not a CIO team, so we are capacity builders,” Smith told FedScoop. “What’s so interesting in the federal government, it’s such huge scale and it’s dealing with very complex problems. We almost approach it like a university faculty where you have all of these disciplines coming together to discern the best path.”

Smith believes this path forward will be led by a number of newly created groups: U.S. Digital Services, 18F and the Presidential Innovation Fellows. She believes the work these groups are doing is in its infancy and will continue to grow after this administration has left D.C.

“If we were trying to eventually get them to an IPO, they are currently a Series A,” she said.

On top of work inside the government, Smith also sees more being done on President Barack Obama’s TechHire initiative, which aims to get people into better, higher-paying IT jobs.

McQuinn said that type of training will also be crucial if the agencies are to meet the deadlines of the White House’s cybersecurity plan.

“I think a lot of what we are going to see with this kind of cyber push is institutional knowledge,” she said, adding that the training is needed if two-factor authentication is to become commonplace.

GSA 18F Executive Director Aaron Snow: Next