What President Obama Did for Tech

Change in government is slow. That didn’t stop a lot from happening in government during President Barack Obama’s two terms, including many technology firsts, but that’s to be expected, because the world changed a lot too. Chronicling President Obama’s tech legacy isn’t a matter of tallying everything he did, but isolating what he did differently from what another person in his position might have.

It was the impression left on the federal government’s culture that this president will be remembered for, said Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America’s executive director. “Ten years from now, I think the biggest impact...will be on leadership in government and how they think, more than anything else,” said Pahlka. “One thing that could have absolutely gone differently was the way in which he called on people from the outside to rescue HealthCare.gov. The fact that he so much stood behind that and was willing to back these outsiders, that I think was a turning point, and the fact that he learned the right lesson from it and decided to institutionalize it.” The president led on open data, cybersecurity and the creation of new government roles, but his greatest legacy lies in his constancy, said former Philadelphia Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid. Backing programs he believed in and serving as a template that others could model themselves after, President Obama lived up to his charge as a spiritual leader.


What President Obama Did for Tech