Digital strike team member will be Obama’s SOTU guest

A member of the small task force aiming to make the federal government more tech-savvy will be one of the handful of guests to watch the State of the Union address alongside first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday.

Kathy Pham, a former staffer at Google and IBM, now works on improving digital healthcare for American veterans as a member of the U.S. Digital Service, the White House said.

On Tuesday, she'll be seated in the first lady's box to watch the president's speech.


“At the United States Digital Service, her background in technology unites with her commitment to service,” the White House said.

In a short biography of Pham, the White House mentioned that her parents were immigrants to the United States and also highlighted how the Affordable Care Act helped her mother obtain cancer treatment. Her brother earned a Purple Heart in Afghanistan.

The back story indicates that Obama will place some focus in Tuesday’s speech on immigration reform, the country’s need to care for veterans and on the legacy of ObamaCare.

He may also point to Pham as an example of how the government is trying to revamp its technology to make sure that citizens have an easier time interacting with the government.

The U.S. Digital Service is a small task force set up within the White House to replicate the success the administration had turning around, the ObamaCare website that has largely recovered from its disastrous rollout.