Andrew McLaughlin will leave his government post, where he worked on Internet policy, to launch two startups.
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It's not exactly a "mission accomplished" event although it's close: two days after the Federal Communications Commission approved a net neutrality policy, Andrew McLaughlin is resigning his White House deputy CTO post, in which he worked on Internet policy issues.
He said he will launch two startups -- one, high-tech support for state and local governments; the other, support for startups in developing countries.
McLaughlin has been a major player in Internet development, ranging from early involvement in the launch and management of the ICANN Web domain management organization, to a teaching post at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. McLaughlin said he plans to return to the Berkman Center to teach, although he will continue living in the Washington, D.C. area. Before his White House days, he was head of Google's global public policy and government affairs.
"My White House experience has been fantastic, but it's been more than two years since I started working on the (2008 election) transition," McLaughlin wrote in an e-mail to reporters, "And I've been feeling the itch to get entrepreneurial again."
Several months ago McLaughlin was criticized for e-mailing former colleagues at Google -- a violation of the Obama Administration's strict policy banning White House employees from engaging with former employers and clients. He was reprimanded for the alleged infraction, but Administration officials said the limited number of e-mails had no influence on any federal policy decisions.
The White House post was created for McLaughlin, who worked with CTO Aneesh Chopra and CIO Vivek Kindra. "Andrew has been a valuable public servant, helping to advance the administration's priorities in technology and innovation," said White House office of science and technology spokesman Rick Weiss, in a statement. "We are sorry to see him go and wish him all the best in his next endeavors."
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