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White House Picks Former Twitter Exec as First Chief Digital Officer

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By Hallie Golden March 24, 2015

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After devoting years to such Silicon Valley companies as Google and Twitter, Jason Goldman announced Tuesday he would soon be helping a new entity strengthen its digital presence -- the federal government.

As part of its efforts to engage with members of the public on the Internet, the White House created the position of chief digital officer and asked Goldman to assume the new role, he said in a post on Medium

Beginning April 6, Goldman will take over leadership of the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy. He is expected to help the federal government step beyond the realm of simply broadcasting information into the public abyss and into forming more fully-fledged connections with citizens, according to his post.

“Broadcasting can create awareness,” he wrote in the post. “But connecting people can create engagement and change. Connecting involves an invitation to participate in something.”

Thanks to his previous work for both Twitter, Google and Google's blogging platform, Blogger, Goldman is no stranger to getting his message out via a range of digital platforms.  

“My job will be to use those online tools to create meaningful opportunities for American citizens to participate in our government,” Goldman explained.

Over the last few years, the White House has increased its digital presence with a focus on engaging the public, with efforts such as the "We the People" petition site and "Ask Me Anything" question-and-answer sessions on Reddit. Most recently, it employed interactive online elements to go with the State of the Union address.

Goldman emphasized in his Medium post that he won’t do it alone. In addition to the team members making up the Office of Digital Strategies, he will also be reaching out to the general public for help.

“How can we  -- our government and you and your communities  -- better connect online to make America better?” he asked.

Goldman has invited anyone to post their answers on any social media site, so long as they use the hashtag #socialcivics.

"I’m excited to hear what you’re thinking and expect I’ll learn a lot," he wrote.

(Image via Orhan Cam/ Shutterstock.com)

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