MIT names U.S. CTO Megan Smith as 2015 commencement speaker

Mechanical engineering grad returns to deliver 2015 commencement speech at MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is getting a seriously early jump on its 2015 commencement exercises, naming U.S. CTO and MIT alum Megan Smith as its speaker for the June 5 event.

Smith, who has undergraduate (1986) and master's (1988) degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, was named by President Barack Obama as the chief technology officer of the United States in September. Before that, she was VP of new business development at Google.

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“As a technologist, Megan Smith dreams on a grand scale, and she delivers just as grandly,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said in a statement. “Her open spirit, startling creativity, and deep technical insight shine through in everything she does, from the world-changing projects she spearheaded with colleagues at Google to her inspiring insights as a member of the MIT Corporation. In the best MIT tradition, Megan takes her work very seriously, but not herself. We could not be prouder that she is now guiding the nation’s technology policy, nor more delighted that she will address our new graduates in June.”

Smith previously served as CEO of LGBT online community PlanetOut; worked on early smartphone technologies at General Magic; and helped design multimedia products at Apple Japan. 

Recent MIT commencement speakers have not surprisingly had a tech focus. They include Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston, Khan Academy founder Sal Khan,  Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and Analog Devices Chairman and co-founder Raymond Stata.

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