President-elect Biden appoints David Recordon director of technology

Former director of White House IT has strong open-source background

Front of the White House at night

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen his transition team’s deputy chief technology officer, David Recordon, as his director of technology at the White House.

Recordon is a veteran of the technology industry and federal government IT. He was the first director of White House information technology, in the Obama administration, where he was responsible for all White House technology systems. 

In his first White House role, Recordon helped integrate and modernize the White House's technology infrastructure, which included moving staff from 1980s analog desk phones to Cisco VoIP phones, deploying Wi-Fi and instant messaging, and rolling out multi-factor authentication.

Recordon also served as engineering director at Facebook from 2009 to 2015 and again from 2017 to 2018, after his first period at the White House. Most recently, he was vice president for infrastructure and security at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a Zuckerberg family nonprofit that tackles social issues with technology.

Open source plays a big part in Recordon's career. He managed several open-source projects at Facebook, where he also served as open programs manager. These included the Phabricator code review tools the company uses internally and the Apache Cassandra distributed database. His team also created HipHop, a system that transforms source code from PHP to C++. 

Recordon was also a founding board member of the OpenID Foundation, which manages the open source OpenID authentication protocol, and was instrumental in the development of the OAuth protocol.

The long-time Biden tech advisor will have many challenges to face in his new role. Recordon called out cyber security as a specific issue in a Linkedin post. "The pandemic and ongoing cyber security attacks present new challenges for the entire Executive Office of the President, but ones I know that these teams can conquer in a safe and secure manner together," he said. The government is still reeling from a widespread multi-agency Russian hacking campaign that used the SolarWinds Orion software as an attack vector.

The transition team also appointed Austin Lin as the White House deputy director of technology. Lin, who is the director of information technology and security for the transition team, also worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he handled IT and security teams. His career tracks Recordon's, including a stint as a technical program manager on Facebook’s infrastructure team.

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