Transgender software engineer and ‘civic hacker’ Tang has been appointed to the position of head of digital policies for the Taiwanese government.
Tang is renowned as a coding prodigy and learned the skill by the age of 12. At 14 she dropped out of school and at 15 she launched a lyrics search engine.
‘After entering the Executive Yuan, I expect myself to be a ‘civil servant of civil servants’, that I will help the civil service to solve problems using digital technology and systems, to strengthen the communication and cooperation between government departments and civil technology communities,’ Tang said in a Facebook post.
‘My role is not to be ‘someone inside’ for some communities, or for promoting policies on the internet, but to be a channel for more wisdom and abilities to combine.’ read the post.
She has previously described herself as a ‘conservative anarchist’ and is a strong advocate for government transparency. Tang joined Taiwan’s sunflower movement in which students occupied Taiwanese legislature buildings. Tang created an online video and text live stream inside and outside the occupied building.
She began the process of gender transition in her early 20s. Currently working under contract at Apple, she will begin work at the Yuan on October 1. She has already set up a website to allow members of the public to ask her questions.