Office of the Chief Technology Officer

The mission of the Office of the U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO), currently led by U.S. CTO Megan Smith, is to help the President and the Administration harness the power of technology, data, and innovation to advance the future of our Nation. The CTO team helps shape Federal policies, initiatives, capacity, and investments that support this mission, while also working to anticipate and guard against the consequences that can accompany new discoveries and technologies. In the 21st Century, a lot of policy is intimately connected with technology, especially digitally networked technologies. The Office of the CTO is part of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the U.S. CTO also serves as an Assistant to the President.

In the 21st Century, a lot of policy is intimately connected with technology, especially digitally networked technologies. Important capability comes from adding technologists -- or TQ as in “tech quotient” - to the table. Each policy team is strengthened when it is cross-functional and includes technologists, just as it should include economists, lawyers, managers, and scientists. Excluding one of those disciplines can lead to sub-optimal outcomes.

The Office of the CTO focuses on three primary areas, accomplishing all work in deep collaboration with other Executive Office of the President (EOP), agency, and external colleagues, consistent with law:

  • Build National Capacity through Policy: Empowering America’s most important asset – its people; and catalyzing the use of new methods to help government better engage more Americans to solve our hardest challenges together. The Office of the CTO supports a number of Administration initiatives to this end, including efforts to broaden entrepreneurial participation, expand STEM inclusion and tackle unconscious bias, especially in family and children’s media; eliminate connectivity deserts—places where broadband internet connectivity is not available—at home and abroad; and engage local tech and innovation communities through place-based activities such as coding boot camps, technology meet-ups, maker spaces, robotics and other innovation festivals, entrepreneurship programs, and start-up incubators. To unleash the creativity and leverage the capacity of all individuals and communities across the United States, we must increase the availability, accessibility, and attractiveness of study, work, and entrepreneurial opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and other areas of innovation to many more citizens. Top areas of work within this policy area include: