Margaret O’Mara is a historian of the modern United States whose work looks at the growth of the knowledge economy and the reasons creativity and innovation thrive in particular places. She is the author of Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley (Princeton, 2005), which explored how Silicon Valley came to be, why other U.S. regions did not become Silicon Valley, and what the Cold War had to do with it. Her current research includes a study of high-tech globalization and urban change in China, India, and the United States. An Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington, she previously taught at Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her PhD. From 1993 to 1997 she was a staff member to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, handling policy issues including urban economic development, health care, and welfare reform.