Harper Reed

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Harper Reed
Harper Reed, 2009.jpg
Born 1978 [1]
Residence Chicago, IL[1]
Education Cornell College [2]

Harper Reed (born March 21, 1978) is the CEO of Modest Inc.[3] In 2011, he took the role of CTO for Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.[1] From 2005 to 2009, he was the CTO of clothing company Threadless.[1]

Besides his claims of technical accomplishments, Reed is known for his punk-rock hair-style.[4][5][6] He has subtitled himself as "pretty awesome" and "pretty much one of the coolest guys ever".[7]

According to The Guardian, Reed's "background in crowd-sourcing and cloud-computing ... gives a significant clue to what the Obama team hoped to achieve in 2012".[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Reed was born in Greeley, Colorado, where he was raised in a home without a television but with an Apple IIC. Reed served as student-council president at Greeley Central High School.[9] Reed graduated from Cornell College in 2001[10] with degrees in philosophy and computer science.[11] Reed's first job out of college was as an engineer for World Book Publishing.[9] Reed is an avid reader [12] and currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Hiromi Nakazawa.[7][13]

2012 American Presidential Campaign[edit]

Reed served as Chief Technology Officer for Obama for America from April 2011 through the November 2012 election.[1][14][15][16] A central component of that work was Project Narwhal, a centralized database of electoral information.[17] Reed helped build a team of developers from tech companies like Twitter, Google, Facebook, Craigslist, Quora, Orbitz and Threadless. This approach— hiring technology workers from the tech startups rather than the political realm— was novel.[18]


Reed has written on a number of topics, including user experience design,[19] diversity in technology,[20] privacy,[21] and "big data".[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Harris, Melissa (2 June 2011). "Chicago technologist Harper Reed joins President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Reed, Harper. "Harper Reed Resume". Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Inc, Modest. "Modest, Inc". Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Goldman, Julianna (19 December 2011). "Obama campaign out to win 'data arms race'". Seattle Times. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  5. ^ BOYD, E.B. (2 June 2011). "Tech Pioneer Harper Reed Becomes Obama Campaign CTO". Fast Company. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Fairweather, Alistair (11 October 2013). "Harper Reed: The techie who got the US to say yes". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Reed, Harper. "Harper Reed Home Page". Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Pilkington, Ed (17 February 2012). "The digital wizards behind Obama's tech-heavy re-election strategy". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Vuong, Andy (27 January 2013). "Greeley's Harper Reed the technology mastermind behind Obama's win". The Denver Post. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  10. ^ College, Cornell (1 February 2013). "Reed strives to make an impact". Cornell EReport. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Murphy, Tim (1 September 2012). "Inside the Obama Campaign's Hard Drive". Mother Jones. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Ward, Jon (27 December 2012). "Harper Reed Goes A Week Without Internet: Obama Campaign Tech Guru Shares What He Learned". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Reed, Harper. "Harper Reed Biography". GitHub. 
  14. ^ Reed, Harper. "Harper Reed AngelList Profile". Angel List. 
  15. ^ Reed, Harper. "Harper Reed CrunchList Profile". CrunchBase. 
  16. ^ Reed, Harper. "Harper Reed LinkedIn Profile". LinkedIn. 
  17. ^ Issenberg, Sasha (15 February 2012). "Obama’s White Whale". Slate. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  18. ^ Madrigal, Alexis (16 November 2012). "When the Nerds Go Marching In". Wired. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Reed, Harper (November 2013). "The importance of creating a great user experience". i-CIO. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  20. ^ Reed, Harper (November 2013). "Why the IT industry needs to become a more diverse place". i-CIO. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  21. ^ Reed, Harper (November 2013). "Seeing privacy and trust from an under-25’s perspective". i-CIO. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  22. ^ Reed, Harper (November 2013). "The vital shift from big data to big answers". i-CIO. Retrieved 8 December 2013.