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White House adds a tech adviser

Shutterstock image: the White House.

The White House has reportedly hired a veteran Republican strategist to serve as a technology aide to President Donald Trump.

Matt Lira, most recently the senior advisor to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will become the special assistant to the president for innovation policy and initiatives.

The story was first reported by Recode.

Lira, who became a Harvard Kennedy School fellow in 2015, has experience in both chambers of Congress, as well as on the presidential campaign trail.

He served as the deputy communications director — and later digital director — for former Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) from 2006 until 2011. When Cantor became House Majority Leader in 2011, Lira was tapped as his senior advisor.

In March 2013, he briefly left the House to become the deputy executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2014 midterm cycle.

Lira returned in July 2015 to his former position of senior advisor to the House Majority Leader, this time for McCarthy.

Lira also served as the webmaster for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the 2008 presidential campaign, and was the digital director for then-vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) during Mitt Romney’s 2012 bid.

In his time in Congress, Lira developed a reputation for innovation. He organized the first Congressional Hack-a-thon on ways to improve the legislative process, helped build relationships with Silicon Valley and launched the phone app YouCut, the first digital platform directly linked to House floor votes. The app provided users the chance to hold their own weekly vote on proposed government cuts to be considered by House Republican leadership.

Lira was named one of Tech Crunch’s “20 Most Innovative People in Democracy” in 2012, and a year later, honored as a “Tech Titan” by Washingtonian Magazine. He will join a White House tech team that includes deputy chief technology officer Michael Kratsios, the former top aide to Trump transition team member Peter Thiel.

Trump has yet to name a chief technology officer.

Posted by Chase Gunter on Mar 23, 2017 at 5:02 PM


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