Megan Smith to be honored at GLAAD Gala San Francisco

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to introduce former Google VP of Business Development and Planet Out CEO upon receiving the GLAAD's Ric Weiland Award
November 3, 2015

Seth Adam
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8018

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028

San Francisco - GLAAD, the world's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced it will honor United States Chief Technology Officer, former Google VP of Business Development and PlanetOut CEO Megan Smith at GLAAD Gala San Francisco at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square on November 7, 2015. For more information visit

GLAAD Gala San Francisco is made possible with the support of presenting partners Hilton, Ketel One Vodka, Wells Fargo, as well as major partner Southwest Airlines. The event will feature a special performance by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist and Selma star Ledisi.

At the gala, Megan Smith will receive the Ric Weiland Award, which honors innovators who advance LGBT equality and acceptance through tech and new media. The award is named after Ric Weiland, who was a computer software pioneer and philanthropist. Together with his surviving partner Mike Schaefer, he is known for his dedication to LGBT and HIV and AIDS organizations. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki will introduce Smith when GLAAD presents the award.

Megan Smith was appointed United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in September 2014 by President Obama. In this role, she serves as an Assistant to the President and focuses on how technology policy, data and innovation can advance the future of our nation. She most recently served as a Vice President at Google, first leading New Business Development -- where she managed early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing across Google’s global engineering and product teams for nine years -- and later serving as a VP in the leadership team at Google[x] -- where she co-created the company’s “SolveForX” innovation community project as well as its “WomenTechmakers” tech-diversity initiative and worked on a range of other projects. During her tenure she led the company’s acquisitions of major platforms such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Picasa, and also served as GM of during its engineering transition, adding Google Crisis Response, Google for Nonprofits, and Earth Outreach/Engine, and increased employee engagement. Smith, who OUT Magazine named one of the 50 most powerful LGBT people in the world in 2013, also served as CEO of PlanetOut, a media platform aimed at an LGBT audience during the early days of the web, where the team broke through many barriers and partnered closely with AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, and other major web players. Megan has also served on the boards of MIT, MIT Media Lab, MIT Technology Review, and Vital Voices; as a member of the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid; and as an advisor to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Malala Fund, which she co-founded.

“Throughout her career Megan Smith has been at the forefront of innovation and a staunch advocate for LGBT acceptance,” said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. “Whether she was bringing LGBT stories to digital platforms at PlanetOut, developing a diversity initiative at Google, or advancing the future of our nation as the United State’s Chief Technology Officer, her advocacy and dedication make her one of the strongest leaders for equality and acceptance in the tech industry.”

The GLAAD Gala San Francisco honors innovators in the Bay Area who advance LGBT acceptance through tech and new media and also funds GLAAD's national advocacy work to rewrite the script to accelerate acceptance.

To receive the latest updates on GLAAD Gala San Francisco, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadgala.

GLAAD Gala San Francisco is also underwritten by Comcast NBCUniversal, IBM, and Playstation. For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets, and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit