Name: Megan J. Smith
How she changed your life: Have you used Google Maps, Google Earth, or Picasa lately? Thank Ms. Smith – she led the key acquisitions that created both!
Claim to fame: First female CTO of the United States; leader and guide of adventurous projects; focused on inclusiveness and diversity in technology
In her own words: “The more people we can attract to science and technology—men, women, everybody – the more economic opportunity we have as a nation.”
About: To discover Megan J. Smith’s story is to discover the life of an extraordinary mind at work: one part inventor, one part leader, and one part each of traveler and explorer. Her legacy is one of a maker and a guide, with the vision and ingenuity to find the potential in a prototype—and to bring that potential to its realization.
Ms. Smith’s storied career has led her from Apple and General Magic to Planet Out, Google, Google[X], and The White House (under former President Barack Obama). There aren’t many forms of modern tech in which she hasn’t had a hand: at Apple and General Magic, she led development teams on nascent smartphone technology; as Vice President at Google[X], she led the acquisitions of Keyhole and Where2Tech—or, as they’re more commonly known, Google Earth and Google Maps. Throughout her career, Ms. Smith has been a voice for diversity, inclusion, and empowerment; as cofounder of the Malala Fund, she has been an advocate for the life-changing power of education.
We’re delighted to honor Ms. Smith as a 2017 Visionary because she embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship that is our raison d’être at Silicon Valley Forum: to keep building and innovating (or deconstructing and improving), to push for inclusiveness and equality, and to commit to both learning and lighting the way. She never stops searching for ways to use her talents and acumen to make the world more wonderful, and it’s an honor to honor her.
Megan J. Smith will appear live on stage at the 2017 Visionary Awards on June 8th. For tickets and more information, please visit the event page.
Author: Micaela Youmans
Head of Ops. and Communication