Why is the federal government so bad at technology?
Megan Smith, the CTO of the U.S. government, says it is partly because the top decision makers don’t have digital experience. Top officials in government are drawn from the disciplines of law, economics, political science — but, by and large, not from tech, Smith said.
“The digital people haven’t been at the principal level,” Smith told several hundred people assembled at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen. “Getting leaders who are fluent in digital technologies into leadership positions” is critical.
Smith said the U.S. digital service created by President Obama has started to embed experienced technology experts from companies like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter into a variety of federal government departments.