President Obama: Geek-in-Chief

President Obama

Welcome, President Obama!

We congratulate you on your historic path to the presidency, and we're excited for you to lead our country into a new era of increased prosperity, strength, peace, wisdom, community, and yes: change.

A recent article in The New York Times speculated that with you occupying our highest office, our country might finally make some strides in recruiting and retaining women in the sciences. We are, of course, hopeful that this is the case.

Frankly, what makes us so hopeful is the fact that you embrace technology: you appreciate it, you support it, you use it, you love it. And we know you appreciate women in leadership roles. Some examples:

  • You believe that technology should be a tool for creating jobs, ensuring American competitiveness, nurturing innovation, and improving education, and you state all of this at the technology platform on your website.
  • (Nevermind that you might be the first president to have a technology platform, not to mention an email account, a Blackberry -- to which you're reportedly addicted, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.)
  • Your economic recovery plan allocates spending on increased broadband infrastructure, improved technology in schools, and incentives for green technology industries as a new source of jobs and innovation.
  • The presidency wasn't the only thing that changed hands today at noon -- www.whitehouse.gov became yours, too, and you were ready to make good on your promise to use it as a place for information-sharing, transparency, and feedback.
  • Reportedly you're creating a CTO position at the White House, and you're said to be considering a woman for the role.

Specifically, we know that you recognize the need for increased participation of women and other underrepresented groups in IT because you said so (VIDEO) at NCWIT's Innovation and Diversity Town Hall, three years ago. In a personal and moving speech you talk about how you come from a family of strong women, and how important it is to you that your daughters have every opportunity to become involved in technology.

Thank you, Mr. President. We hope we can count on you to make good on your ideas and support for women and IT, and we hope you will call on us for our ideas and support, too.