“Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt may have helped Barack Obama build a political technology juggernaut, but now another top Google executive is trying to help Republicans catch up,” Kenneth P. Vogel reports for Politico.
“Michele Weslander Quaid, who serves as the company’s ‘Innovation Evangelist’ and chief technology officer for its public-sector division, is joining the board of directors of Voter Gravity, a campaign technology company that serves GOP candidates and conservative groups,” Vogel reports. “The move comes as Google, which had become known in Washington as a reliable source of campaign cash and technology talent to Democrats, is working to diversify its political footprint. The tech giant has pumped cash into conservative groups and hired an array of Republicans to interface with the press and politicians, including former Rep. Susan Molinari, who became head of its Washington office in 2012, as well as former George W. Bush aide Rob Saliterman and GOP campaign flak Jill Hazelbaker.
“But Weslander Quaid is certainly among – if not the – highest-ranking employee to lend expertise to a Republican tech company. She worked for a decade in the private sector as an engineer and data scientist, but was recruited after the 2001 terrorist attacks by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, eventually working in senior technology roles for the Director of National Intelligence and the Defense Department during the administrations of both George W. Bush and Obama,” Vogel reports. “At Google, Weslander Quaid sees her role partly as ‘translat(ing) between Silicon Valley speak and government dialect,’ she told Entrepreneur magazine, which named her one of the seven ‘Most Powerful Women to Watch in 2014.”
“In its post-election autopsy report, the Republican National Committee implored the Party to focus on ‘the establishment of a new culture driven by data, technology, analytics, and personal contact,’ partly by establishing ‘working relationships and open lines of communication with thought leaders in Silicon Valley to ensure the Party is at the forefront of new developments and trends in digital technology,'” Vogel reports. “Weslander Quaid would seem to fit that bill precisely…”
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