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Clay Johnson (technologist)

Clay Johnson is an American technologist best known for his role in supporting political campaigns[1] and government agencies[2] with technology services.

Clay Johnson
Clay Johnson at O'Reilly's Foo Camp, 2009


Politics and governmentEdit

In 2004, Johnson was the lead programmer for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.[3]

After the Dean campaign ended, Johnson joined three other Dean for America staff members (Ben Self, Jascha Franklin-Hodge, and Joe Rospars), to found Blue State Digital, a company that provides technology services and online strategy for Democratic campaigns, including the 2008 Barack Obama Presidential Campaign.[4] In 2006, Blue State Digital was one of Fast Company’s Fast 50.[5] Johnson left Blue State Digital in 2008.[citation needed]

From 2008-2010 he was Director of Sunlight Labs, a community of open source developers and designers dedicated to making the U.S. government more transparent, accountable and responsible.

In August 2012, Johnson was selected as a Presidential Innovation Fellow and was integral to a project called RFP-EZ. RFP-EZ seeks to make it easier for small IT services firms to bid on and win government contracts for IT services (like coding and web development).[6]

Johnson is the founder and CEO of the Department of Better Technology, a for-profit company that provides technology services to government agencies.[citation needed]

In 2014, Johnson was named a senior fellow of the Center for American Progress. According to CAP, he "will focus on issues at the intersection of technology and government, including information technology, procurement reform, and open government data."[citation needed]

Other career involvementsEdit

Prior to his work with politicians, Johnson worked at Ask Jeeves, now, as a technologist helping with web syndication. Along with John Petropoulos, Johnson invented the use of mouseover preview ability in search results. The patent was filed in 2001, and issued in 2006.[7]

He also worked as an Entrepreneur in Residence at a venture capital firm.[citation needed]

In January 2012, Johnson published The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption, a national bestseller.[8][9]


In 2009, he was the Google-O’Reilly Open Source Community Builder of the Year,[10] and in 2010, one of Federal Computer Week's Fed 100.

Further readingEdit

Clay Johnson (2012), The Information Diet: a Case for Conscious Consumption, Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, ISBN 9781449304683, OCLC 754720170, 1449304680 


External linksEdit

  Media related to Clay Johnson (technologist) at Wikimedia Commons