Former Hewlett-Packard chair and CEO Carly Fiorina will lead the Technology Policy Institute's board of directors.
TPI announced Tuesday that Fiorina would succeed Ray Gifford as board chair for the Washington, D.C., think tank. Gifford was the group's founding chairman and will remain on the board.
Fiorina said during a news conference that technology is "sexy and scary" to outsiders, and President Obama's election has made it even more sexy.
"I think Barack Obama used technology brilliantly in his campaign," she said. "Through the use of technology, he brought a whole new set of players to the political process, to his great credit."
And he carried it with him into office by making it the center of his agenda, Fiorina said. Now, it's important to make sure the money that the government spends on technology is channeled to help achieve the goal of modernizing the nation's infrastructure, she said.
"These are unprecedented times," Fiorina said. "Thoughtful and pragmatic technology policies can drive our economy forward, help us successfully address our nation's challenges in issues ranging from health care to education, and enhance America's competitiveness. "
TPI analyzes the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world and makes recommendations on technology policy.
TPI president Thomas Lenard said Fiorina offers a mix of global business, technology, and public policy experience.
"Carly Fiorina is one of the most prominent technology leaders of the last decade," he said. "She has been a longtime champion of market-based innovation and consumer choice, and we are delighted that she has agreed to chair our board."
Fiorina served as chair and CEO of HP from 1999 to 2005, and led the company through the dot-com bust and technology recession and oversaw its successful merger with Compaq. Before that, she spent 20 years working her way up through the ranks at AT&T and Lucent Technologies, where she led the company's IPO and became president of its largest business. She is a best-selling author, public speaker, business commentator, and strategic adviser.
She serves as chair and CEO of Carly Fiorina Enterprises, which promotes policies for economic growth and entrepreneurial empowerment. She serves on several other boards, including the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Group.
Fiorina is also considering a U.S. Senate run in 2010. During a news conference Tuesday, she deflected questions about her political plans and said that TPI is entirely separate from any personal campaign activities.
Just a few weeks ago, Fiorina's spokesperson announced that she had undergone surgery for breast cancer and would restrict her activities for a few months.
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