The Kansas Secretary of State has a duty to secure our elections, protect our voting rights, and safeguard voter & business data. Too many states have been hacked by foreign agents. Too many eligible Kansans have been discouraged or blocked from voting by poorly designed systems here at home. Our elections can be both secure AND accessible. These are technical problems with technical solutions. Kansas needs a Secretary of State who is fluent in tech and Brian McClendon speaks that language.
The Office of the Secretary of State has a duty to register businesses operating in Kansas, but it should also strive to provide those services efficiently, and it should aim to reduce the friction involved in starting a business. Starting a business is hard enough, the State of Kansas shouldn’t make it harder. Brian McClendon has founded several companies and managed teams of thousands. He understands the concerns of the business community and can be a key partner in attracting and retaining jobs here in Kansas.
The Kansas Secretary of State is responsible for publishing and managing official state information but, in recent years, the government has become more and more inaccessible. We all have a right to see what’s going on inside our government, and there shouldn’t be anything to hide. The Secretary of State works for the people of Kansas – so the business of that office must be conducted in the light of day, with full transparency to the people of Kansas. Transparency breeds accountability.
Kansans value integrity and hard work. We value ingenuity and innovation. We value family and community. And we understand the importance of giving back. As a true son of Kansas, Brian McClendon shares those values, and he’s spent a lifetime putting them into practice.
He’s an accomplished engineer, and his love of technology was nurtured right here, in the public schools of Kansas. He’s a successful startup founder, and his work ethic was learned right here, delivering newspapers and shoveling snow. His talent, drive, and vision were all fostered right here, in Kansas, by the family and community that raised him.
After earning a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas, Brian developed computer hardware for Silicon Graphics. One of his early projects was even used to build ground-breaking special effects for the film ‘Jurassic Park’. He went on to co-found the startup that became Google Earth and famously made his childhood home at Meadowbrook Apartments the center of the Google Earth globe.
As Google VP of Engineering, he built the teams and programs behind Google Earth, Google Maps, Street View, and Ground Truth. His work there revolutionized the academic, business, and military applications of satellite and aerial imagery.
At Uber, he developed a world-class program to improve the efficiency of driver/rider matching and evolved mapping services to support the advent of self-driving cars. So when Uber gives you a lift, when you get driving directions on your phone, when farmers build on Google Earth to improve crop yields, you’re touching Brian’s work.
He has been honored for his work by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the American Geographical Society, and the United Nations Environmental Programme. In 2007, he was named a Distinguished Kansan by the Topeka Capital-Journal and honored with a ‘Doctor of Science’ by his alma mater in 2015. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
He’s spent the last 30 years building the future, and now he wants to focus on the future of Kansas, as Secretary of State. Brian works as a research professor at the University of Kansas, nurturing the next generation of Kansas engineers and entrepreneurs. He’s a lifelong Royals, Chiefs, and Jayhawks fan. He and his wife, Beth Ellyn McClendon, live in Lawrence.