White House Poaches Facebook Engineering Director to Run its Own IT
The White House (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

White House Poaches Facebook Engineering Director to Run its Own IT

Member of new USDS team, David Recordon will oversee IT service delivery for president's office

Further building out his U.S. Digital Service team President Barack Obama appointed former Facebook Engineering Director David Recordon to the newly created position of Director of White House Information Technology. Recordon will be responsible for "modernizing the White House's own technology," the administration's announcement explained.

On a mission to optimize service delivery by the White House IT infrastructure, Recordon will build on past efforts to converge overlapping systems, modernize collaboration software, and bring use of new technologies in line with private-sector best practices. The presidential memorandum establishing the new position gives it the "authority to establish and coordinate the necessary policies and procedures for operating and maintaining the information resources and information systems provided to the president, vice president, and EOP (Executive Office of the President)."

The USDS team was launched last year. It is tasked with building effective, modern digital services and optimizing public interactions with the various government digital channels. The team engages engineers, designers, and product managers to take on government IT challenges.

"In our continued efforts to serve our citizens better, we’re bringing in top tech leaders to support our teams across the federal government," Obama said in a statement. Recordon's "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 was a consultant to USDS for about one year prior to his recent appointment, according to his LinkedIn profile.

At Facebook Recordon developed internal productivity tools and led open source, engineering education, and other teams. He was also a founding member of the OpenID Foundation, which promotes a single open standard for online authentication provided by third parties.

The Obama administration has heavily recruited Silicon Valley talent,as it builds technology expertise in federal teams. Former Google X vice president Megan Smith was appointed U.S. CTO last year. Former VMware CIO Tony Scott was appointed as U.S. CIO earlier this year, and DJ Patil, whose resume includes senior roles at eBay and LinkedIn, was named the first U.S. Chief Data Scientist.

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