Press Contact

For press inquiries, contact

You can always email Harper directly at or you can also hit him up on twitter at @harper (DMs are open).

Below is commonly requested information about Harper.


Wikipedia Entry


Harper Reed is a technologist that predicts the future for a living. He spends most of his life building big things, hacking things, and talking about doing both of those things. As CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, Harper was the first to bring the tech mentality to a political level. He believes the talent of a great bunch of humans can transform an organization like nothing else and uses that belief to strengthen, deploy, and inspire every team he works with. Harper also believes his incredible luck has led him to achieve wonderful things like pioneering crowdsourcing at, founding Modest Inc, and guiding the software team at PayPal. Since 2020, he has been the CEO of General Galactic Corporation. Galactic is a web3 company building rational crypto offramps for crypto workers. You can find Harper hacking on personal projects and enjoying life in Chicago with his partner, Hiromi and their beautiful and bizarre poodle, Lulu.


Harper Reed is a technologist that predicts the future for a living. He spends his life traveling around the world showing people the possibilities of tech and sharing his experiences to propel the greater good, all while raising the level of fun in the room.

Harper knows his incredible luck has led him to achieve many wonderful things. At PayPal, his roles as Head of Commerce and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence allowed him to guide teams into the thrilling future of e-commerce. The technology he developed as co-founder at startup Modest Inc. had initially garnered the attention of PayPal, which led them to acquire Modest only a few years after launch.

Harper also believes the talent of a great bunch of humans can transform an organization like nothing else and he uses that belief to strengthen, deploy, and inspire every team he works with. Previously, Harper was CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, where he was the first to bring the mentality and connective capabilities of tech to the political stage. He was also the CTO of, where he pioneered crowdsourcing and grew the company from a 12 person startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise. Harper is an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, sits on the advisory boards for IIT Computer Science and the Royal United Service Institute, and is on the Cornell College Board of Trustees.

Harper is currently the CEO of General Galactic Corporation where he leads an amazing team. Galactic is a web3 company building software for the new internet. Galactic focuses on building rational crypto offramps for crypto workers, and others who earn crypto.

You can find Harper hacking on personal projects and enjoying life in Chicago with his partner, Hiromi and their beautiful and bizarre poodle, Lulu.

High Resolution Photos

A selection of high-resolution photos of Harper. Please contact the linked rights holder for usage.

Photo by Diane Levine in 2018


Photo by Diane Levine in 2018


Photo by Diane Levine in 2018


Photo by Dan Taylor in 2016


Photo by Sputniktilt in 2015


Photo by Webstock in 2015


Photo by Ivan Indrautama in 2014


Photo by Sara Mays in 2012

Past Press

Here are some of the past pieces about Harper and his work

What Harper Reed Thinks: A Conversation With Obama’s Former CTO

Track Changes 2019-02-19

Obama CTO says 'Big Data is BS' in keynote to hoteliers and vendors at HEDNA 2018

tnooz 2018-02-01

Your Amazon Order Could Get You in Trouble With Customs

RACKED 2018-01-08

Harper Reed: Als Nerd im Dienst der Zukunft

Finanz und Wirtschaft 2017-03-03

Nobody wants 'federation' of mobile messaging, says PayPal

Campaign 2017-03-01

Do Chatbots Face the Same Doomed Future as Branded Apps?

Adweek 2017-02-28

PayPal next-gen commerce chief: Don't lose the empathy in our tech

Campaign 2017-02-27

WWD’s 10 of Tomorrow: Mobile Commerce Director Harper Reed

WWD 2017-01-30

Election hacking shouldn't surprise you, Obama's former tech chief says

Chicago Tribune 2016-12-20

Obama’s former tech chief saw the hacked elections coming. He just expected more people to care.

Record 2016-12-19

A Hacker Trolled a Bunch of Canadians Who Confused Him for Stephen Harper on Twitter

Vice 2016-10-21

Pay day - Reed all about it

Acuity 2016-06-01

Harper Reed, el ingeniero que ayudó a ganar sus segundas elecciones a Obama

TechRepublic 2016-05-30

Harper Reed, Obama's Former CTO, Says Data Isn't Everything

Motherboard 2016-05-27

Election Tech: Leadership is more powerful than technology

TechRepublic 2016-04-20

From t-shirts to President Obama: How Harper Reed harnessed the power of the internet

ABC (Australia) 2016-04-07


breakingbiz 2016-02-25

PayPal’s Simple Solution To A Complex Commerce Problem

PYMNTS 2016-02-12

PayPal Commerce aims to bring 'buy button' ubiquity to the web

ZDNet 2016-02-12

Here's How PayPal Allows Merchants to Use Buy Buttons

Fortune 2016-02-11

PayPal Commerce Matches Stripe With PayPal’s Own Native Shopping Toolkit For Apps

Techcrunch 2016-02-11

'The man who poached Google and Twitter staff for Obama shares tip for hiring

Business Insider 2015-12-05

'Don't eat the pizza': Obama's tech guru shares his best advice on surviving a high-pressure job

Business Insider 2015-11-30

The Entrepreneurs, Edition 214

Monocle Radio 2015-11-18

Obama's tech guru on hackers: 'These kids are very intelligent, they're just misdirected'

Business Insider 2015-11-18

CEO Secrets: Five tips from tech titans

BBC News 2015-11-15

This week in Tech #431: Rhymes With Assword

This week in tech 2015-11-10

Not that Harper - Twitter reaches out to wrong man

BBC News 2015-10-20

Harper Reed: the tech star on helping Barack Obama into a second term and his plans to transform online shopping

Evening Standard 2015-10-08

How Corporations Can Be Safe Users of Computer Data

BloombergBusiness 2015-09-01

Harper Reed of Modest | Bootstrapping in America

TastyTrade 2015-08-27

PayPal übernimmt mit Modest Harper Reeds Checkout-Booster

T3N Magazine 2015-08-20

PayPal's Modest purchase is a bet on the buy button

ZDNet 2015-08-20

PayPal makes its first acquisition after splitting from eBay

Fortune 2015-08-19


PYMNTS 2015-08-19

PayPal acquires mobile commerce platform Modest, run by Obama’s former campaign CTO

VentureBeat 2015-08-19

PayPal Continues Acquisition Spree, Buys E-commerce Startup Led By Former Obama Campaign CTO

Forbes 2015-08-19

Braintree buys Harper Reed's startup Modest

Crains 2015-08-19

Harper Reed's Modest Acquired by PayPal

ChicagoInno 2015-08-19

PayPal acquires Harper Reed's mobile-commerce startup, Modest

Chicago Tribune 2015-08-19

PayPal Acquires Obama CTO's Startup

BloombergBusiness 2015-08-19

PayPal acquires Harper Reed's Modest just months after emerging from stealth

Built in Chicago 2015-08-19

PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL) Acquires Modest As Its First Acquisition Since Split

Bidness Etc 2015-08-19

PayPal Makes a ‘Modest’ Purchase

CFO 2015-08-19

Obama’s former CTO is headed to PayPal, it’s acquired his retail startup Modest

The Next Web 2015-08-18

The myth behind President Obama's 2012 campaign win

DecodeDC 2015-05-28

Harper Reed: Innovation Is Worthless

Information Week 2015-04-30

Life after Obama: Why the president’s 2012 campaign CTO left politics

BGR 2015-04-13

Modest CEO Harper Reed: Bitcoin Is the Future, But It's Not Ready Yet

CoinTelegraph 2015-03-15

Modest Advice: Life Lessons from Harper Reed and Inside His New Startup

Chicago Inno 2015-02-25

Harper Reed Launches Modest to Revolutionize Mobile Commerce

TechCocktail 2015-02-24

Obama campaign veterans launch startup

The Hill 2015-02-24

Harper Reed on being both awesome and Modest

Chicago Tribune 2015-02-23

Obama for America’s tech team sets sights on making mobile retail easier

Ars Technica 2015-02-23

Harper Reed takes the wraps off Modest

Crain's Business 2015-02-23

Former Obama Campaign, Threadless CTO Eyes Mobile Commerce With New Startup Modest

Techcrunch 2015-02-23

The vital shift from big data to big answers

I CIO 2013-11-01

Why the IT industry needs to become a more diverse place

I CIO 2013-11-01

Seeing privacy and trust from an under-25’s perspective

I CIO 2013-11-01

The importance of creating a great user experience

I CIO 2013-11-01

Harper Reed: The techie who got the US to say yes

Mail & Guardian 2013-11-01

TLM10: Harper Reed

The Last Magazine 2013-05-28

Friend Fracker Tests Your Facebook Friendships by Randomly Deleting Them

Motherboard 2013-04-25

Greeley's Harper Reed the technology mastermind behind Obama's win

The Denver Post 2013-01-01

Harper Reed Goes A Week Without Internet: Obama Campaign Tech Guru Shares What He Learned

Chicago Sun Times 2012-12-27

Chicago offers Obama’s tech team future as entrepreneurs, execs

Chicago Sun Times 2012-12-05

Lo stalking democratico

Corriere della Sera 2012-12-03

Its job complete, Obama re-election tech team ventures forward

Chicago Tribune 2012-11-25

When the Nerds Go Marching In

The Atlantic 2012-11-16

AWS in Action - Behind the Scenes of a Presidential Campaign

Amazon AWS Blog 2012-11-15

Built to win: Deep inside Obama's campaign tech

Ars Technica 2012-11-14

How Obama’s tech team helped deliver the 2012 election

GigaOm 2012-11-12

New Technologies Boosted Obama Campaign's Efforts

NPR 2012-11-12

Inside the Obama Campaign's Hard Drive

Mother Jones 2012-10-15

Obama's CEO: Jim Messina Has a President to Sell

Business Week 2012-06-14

Obamas orakel - 2012-06-10

Obama’s Re-Election Path May Be Written in Will St. Clair’s Code

Bloomberg 2011-12-04

Chicago technologist Harper Reed joins President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign

Chicago Tribune 2011-06-02

Tech Pioneer Harper Reed Becomes Obama Campaign CTO

Fast Company 2011-06-01

Threadless CTO Harper Reed Heads to Rackspace

SiliconAngle 2009-09-29