RNC hires Facebook manager as chief technology officer

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has hired a Facebook engineering manager as its new chief technology officer (CTO).

“Pleased to announce we have hired Andy Barkett as the RNC's CTO,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted Thursday evening.

“Excited to get to work growing digital operation,” Priebus continued.

After suffering a tough loss in the 2012 presidential election, the RNC in March said the Republican Party must close the digital divide between the GOP and Democrats if it wanted to win the upcoming midterm elections and 2016 presidential race.

As part of that effort, the RNC said it wanted to hire a chief technology and digital officer by May 1 who would be responsible for recruiting a team of savvy data scientists, tech and digital advocates who would build a new data and digital operation for the upcoming contests.

Barkett's profile on the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management website also lists experience as senior director of engineering at Livescribe, senior management consultant at Taos Mountain and technical program manager at Google.

On that page, Barkett is described as a “Renaissance man!” who is “[d]eeply interested in philosophy, literature, film and economics.”

Barkett received his Master of Business Administration from UC Davis in 2009. He also holds a bachelor's degree in political economy from the University of California, Berkeley.