Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Obama Gets a Google Vet–But Not for CTO

Barack Obama has yet to announce who his chief technology officer will be. But he has hired a Silicon Valley exec for another role: Google product manager Katie Jacobs Stanton will be the new President’s “director of citizen participation,” starting in March, sources tell me.

What the job entails isn’t completely clear to me, but I gather that she plans on using Web tools to let, well, citizens participate in the Obama White House.

The model: Google’s “Moderator” tool, which let people submit questions for the Presidential debates, and was later used to let them suggest initiatives for the new administration via its Change.gov site.

No surprise, then, that Google Moderator was one of Stanton’s projects when she worked at Google’s elections group.

Per her LinkedIn bio, she’s also worked on Google Finance and Google’s Open Social initiative. And prior to joining Google (GOOG) in 2003 (which means she came on pre-IPO and is fully vested, if you’re doing the math), she was at Yahoo (YHOO) as a production manager and worked in Yahoo Finance.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus