• Smita is an Akron-born, Los Angeles-raised, Indian-Pakistani American social designer. She currently works at X, Alphabet's moonshot factory, where she is the Head of Innovation Policy for X's Free Space Optical Communications project, a technology that transmits internet connectivity via laser beams.

     

    Previously she served as deputy director for the White House's Presidential Innovation Fellows, a program started by President Obama to improve federal services through design and technology. While there, she co-launched an initiative to hack the gender pay gap, and worked on improving the experience of Veterans navigating the disability claims process. Before that, she spent nearly 4 years at Ashoka building an accelerator program for social entrepreneurs in the U.S., Europe and Africa. She has helped to launch the first online platform for sexual-assault survivors at RAINN, and has also worked at a start-up travel company, a political documentary film agency, the City of Los Angeles, and the CIA. Her work has been featured at the MIT Media Lab, the New York Tech MeetUp, and in Forbes.com, TechCrunch, and The Wall Street Journal.

     

    She is a certified Sexual Assault Counselor for the State of California, and has studied criminology, secret intelligence, and women's studies at UC Irvine and the University of Southern California. She prefers to spend the rest of her time outdoors, discovering her neighborhood and the world.

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