President-elect Barack Obama has tapped two prominent tech executives to serve on his transition team to build the infrastructure for the next administration.
Advising Obama will be Julius Genchowski, the managing director of venture capital firm Rock Creek Ventures and a former general counsel for IAC, and Sonal Shah, who heads global development for Google.org, the search giant’s philanthropic arm.
Obama has already signaled that technology policy will be a priority in his administration. He favors Net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers should be barred from selectively blocking or degrading traffic on their networks. He also has come out in favor of stricter safeguards for online privacy and new spectrum policies to boost access to high-speed Internet service.
Genchowski attended law school with Obama at Harvard University, and also served as chief counsel for Reed Hundt, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission who campaigned on behalf of Obama.
Genchowski has been advising Obama on technology issues throughout the campaign, and has served on the board of several tech firms, including Web.com, Truveo and Rapt. Under the aegis of Rock Creek Ventures, Genchowski also founded Launchbox Digital, a Washington, D.C.-based startup incubator.
Shah previously served as vice president of Goldman Sachs and worked for eight years with the Treasury Department. With Google, she has led economic initiatives around the world, picking up on her work with Indicorps, the nonprofit organization she cofounded to promote development in her home country of India.
Obama’s ties with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) do not end with Shah. Google CEO Eric Schmidt served as an economic adviser to Obama and campaigned on his behalf. He is also rumored to be on the shortlist of candidates for the position of technology czar that Obama has promised to create to oversee e-government initiatives and advise on technology policy.
Other rumored candidates include Hundt, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.