Tom Cochran: Digital Transformation Consultant & Keynote Speaker
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Tom Cochran

Digital Transformation Consultant | Executive Keynote Speaker

I speak to international audiences about how we transformed the government at the White House through digital and cultural innovation. I advise CEOs and leaders on how to improve their business, and deliver the best possible service to their customers, constituents, or donors.

Where I’ve worked

The White House

The White House

Director of New Media Technologies

2011 to 2012

Read more »

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

Deputy Coordinator for Platforms

2014 to 2016

Atlantic Media

Atlantic Media

Chief Technology Officer

2012 to 2014



Chief Digital Strategist &
VP, Public Sector

2016 to 2018

Blue State Digital

Blue State Digital

Sr. Software Engineer

2004 to 2006

SevenTwenty Strategies

SevenTwenty Strategies

Chief Technology Officer

2006 to 2011

How I can help

Digital Transformation Consulting

I have nearly 20 years of digital experience, pushing transformation in small start-ups to bureaucracies like the U.S. Department of State. Let me help your organization navigate the challenges appearing at the intersection of digital technology and business.

Executive Keynote Speaking

I’ve spoken to audiences big and small in 35 cities, 22 countries, and six continents. Invite me to speak to your team or at your event and address issues like digital transformation, open government, and change management in large organizations.

My Story

I am a digital transformation consultant and executive keynote speaker with nearly two decades of experience. I spent over four years in the Obama administration as a presidential appointee and digital leader helping advance the President’s open government directive.

I currently speak to international audiences about my experiences helping differentiate digital from IT, gain competitive advantage through emerging technologies, and embrace a “digital-first” culture.

At the White House, I ran digital technology powering to amplify President Obama’s message, and led the team that built the ‘We the People’ petitions platform. At the U.S. Department of State, I led a team of 140 with a budget of $40 million which ran global public diplomacy platforms for the U.S. Department of State. Their emphasis was on digital modernization, a cloud-first approach, and the power of relationships and networks to advance U.S. foreign policy abroad.

In the private sector, I ran the government business development practice as the Chief Digital Strategist and VP of Public Sector at Acquia, the leading cloud provider of digital experience management platforms. I also served as the Chief Technology Officer for Atlantic Media (i.e., owner of The Atlantic, Quartz, GovExec, National Journal brands).

I was the first person hired by Blue State Digital (Obama campaign’s digital team), spending a few years engineering the early applications that would grow into the robust digital platform which helped President Obama raise $1.2 billion online in two election cycles.

Early in my career, I was the lead engineer and inventor on a content and feedback management system, which was awarded a U.S. patent.

Tom Cochran as a child in front of Himeji Castle

Things I’ve written

Recode logo

Farewell to Obama, Our First Digital President

In creating a more open government, we have seen political practices upended and barriers between citizens and the administration broken down.

Recode / Dec ’16

Harvard Business Review logo

How I Led Change in the U.S. State Department Bureaucracy

Risk is a necessary ingredient for innovation, and we needed to provide the permission and safe space for people to try new things and, most important, fail.

Harvard Business Review / Jan ’17

Quartz logo

Why Government Websites Suck So Much, According to Obama’s White House Webmaster

Choosing to bring public-sector websites into today’s digital-first age is choosing to humanize government and, ultimately, better serve its citizens.

Quartz / Apr ’17 

Where I’ve Spoken