White House Hires Ex-Facebook Director For Tech Modernisation

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Former engineering boss at Facebook hired as the first ever director of IT at the White House

President Obama has hired the former engineering director at Facebook to oversee the modernisation of the White House’s technology infrastructure.

It comes as the US government seeks to improve how technology is used, in order to better serve that country and its people.

Tech Modernisation

To help in that regard, it was announced officially by the White House this week, that David Recordon has been appointed as its first Director of White House Information Technology.

The newly created position will be responsible for ensuring that the White House is using the latest and most up-to-date technology and tools to communicate with the outside world, as well as help secure it from outside cyber threats.

Russian special forces © Darren Baker, Shutterstock 2012Last year for example, Russian hackers reportedly were able to hack into an Internet network used by the White House, which sparked fears over the online security of the United States government.

But if Recordon’s changes goes well, it has been suggested that those tools and practices will be trickled down into other areas of the US federal government.

“In our continued efforts to serve our citizens better, we’re bringing in top tech leaders to support our teams across the federal government,” said President Obama said. “Today, I’m pleased to welcome David Recordon as the Director of White House Information Technology. His considerable private sector experience and ability to deploy the latest collaborative and communication technologies will be a great asset to our work on behalf of the American people.”

Recordon is apparently well regarded within Silicon Valley, and whilst he was at Facebook, he led software engineering teams responsible for internal productivity tools that allowed staff to create, share and find information efficiently. He also oversaw teams responsible for open source, engineering education, and the technology behind the company’s human resources, video conferencing, and physical security efforts.

“As Director of White House Information Technology, David will build on the Administration’s Smarter IT Delivery efforts to ensure that the technology utilised by the White House is efficient, effective, and secure,” said the White House.

“This includes converging overlapping systems, modernizing software used to collaborate, and bringing use of new technologies in line with private sector best practices,” it said. “This work will both benefit the operations of the White House and also help pave the way for improvements across the Federal government.”

Tech Hires

This is not the first time that the White House has hired a Silicon Valley veteran.

Last month the Obama administration hired VMware executive Tony Scott to be the US government’s new chief information officer (CIO). His remit is to change the way the Federal government manages IT.

And one of Silicon Valley’s top data scientists is also now working for the White House. DJ Patil, who has previously done stints at LinkedIn and Salesforce, is the chief data scientists for the US government. His main area of expertise will be healthcare.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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