Thursday, January 29, 2009 3:06 AM
Google CEO Eric Schmidt may not be interested in the new federal CTO post but a member of his team is headed to Washington, D.C.: business development exec Katie Jacobs Stanton is joining the Obama administration as "director of citizen participation," MediaMemo reported and we have confirmed. As Peter Kafka notes, the title doesn't clearly define what Stanton's responsibilities will be when her new job begins in March. But given her background at Google (NSDQ: GOOG)?she worked on the search giant's election team, on its Open Social initiative, and helped launch Google Finance in 2006?she likely will be involved in the development of online tools that help Americans get more involved with what's going on at the White House. Stanton joined Google in 2003, early enough to be in on the IPO; she previously served as a production manager at Yahoo.
Stanton's appointment is in line with the administration's efforts during the campaign and transition to reach out to supporters through digital means: the weekly fireside chats via YouTube, the Twitter account, as well as the launch of Change.gov while Obama was president-elect. But Stanton and other tech-savvy new hires may find it more difficult to do their jobs effectively in the coming months, as they contend with White House technology policies that are more restrictive than participatory. (Much like Obama himself did during the struggle to keep his Blackberry).