White House names new deputy chief technology officer for policy

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Austin Bonner joins White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, though the position of U.S. CTO has not been filled since 2021.

The White House has named Austin Bonner to serve as the new deputy chief technology officer for policy, the Office of Science and Technology Policy announced on Thursday. 

Bonner, who was previously the assistant director for spectrum and telecommunications policy at OSTP, will take on the position after serving for over a year in the administration. 

She also previously served as acting chief of staff for FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, and has been an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University since 2016, according to her LinkedIn

OSTP sent an internal email on Wednesday obtained by Nextgov/FCW that announced Bonner's promotion and said the office was "excited to bring her leadership skills and expertise to bear on other key tech policy priorities, including privacy, accessibility, digital equity and many other issues."

“For the last year, Austin has led White House efforts on a wide range of telecommunications issues, including wireless spectrum and national security/emergency preparedness communications,” the email read. “She did this work with the grace, determination, and expertise needed to bring together different perspectives and drive policy forward.”

The news of Bonner's appointment was first reported by Axios

Bonner joins several other technologists at the White House, including Deirdre Mulligan, who was previously named to Bonner’s new role in February before being tapped to serve as principal deputy U.S. CTO in June. 

According to OSTP’s website, the technology team, normally helmed by the U.S. CTO,  leverages “technology and data to equitably deliver services, bringing technology and data expertise to federal policy formation and implementation and ensuring that America continues to lead the world in values-driven technological research and innovation,” including efforts on data science and artificial intelligence.

The administration has not nominated anyone to fill the top U.S. CTO role in its two years, the longest the position has remained vacant since it was first established under the Obama administration. The last confirmed U.S. CTO was Michael Kratsios, who served in the Trump administration from 2019 to 2021.