May 1, 2020 - Technology

Code for America names new CEO

Amanda Renteria. Photo: Code for America

Code for America is today announcing government veteran Amanda Renteria as its new CEO, replacing founder Jen Pahlka, who announced a year ago that she was stepping down.

Why it matters: The federal government, long in need of tech expertise, is even more so amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pahlka, meanwhile, has been leading a separate volunteer effort to help state and local governments get tech help during the crisis.

"As the current crisis has shown, it is critical for government services to be designed and delivered with people at the center," Code for America board chair John Lilly said in a statement. "Amanda will lead Code for America at a moment when the need to transform government could not be clearer."

Two staff members, CFO Zeryn Sarpangal and CTO Lou Moore, had been interim chief executives and will now return to their prior roles.

Renteria has more than two decades experience working in government and politics, including as operations chief at the California Department of Justice under California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Earlier in her career she was an economic policy advisor for Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and chief of staff for Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan — becoming the first Latina to serve as chief of staff to a U.S. senator.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,682,389 — Total deaths: 354,944 — Total recoveries — 2,337,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,697,459 — Total deaths: 100,276 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  8. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Top Senate Democrat says State Dept. is working on new Saudi arms deal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on May 20. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) wrote in a CNN op-ed on Wednesday that he learned that the State Department is currently working to sell thousands of additional precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Why it matters: Democrats say that Steve Linick, the State Department inspector general who was ousted on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recommendation, was investigating the administration's previous effort to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.

U.S. coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000

Data: Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a terrible milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: The death toll from COVID-19 now stands at more than 34 times the number of people who died on 9/11.