The Other Audrey Tomasons in the Situation Room

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The other woman in the situation room photo wasn't the only young staffer in the room, just the only one we could see

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Audrey Tomason has become a notable. In the photo of the White House situation room during the raid on the Osama bin Laden compound, she's the woman who is not Hillary Clinton and the youngest person we can see. That part in the global event landed her several media mentions and even a Wikipedia page, the Wikipedian noted today. And for good reason: she appeared to be an outlier in a room filled with the Administration's heaviest hitters.

But what's fascinating is that Tomason wasn't actually the only young staff member in the room, Tommy Vietor, the National Security Council spokesperson, told me. "There is no mystery or story here," Vietor said in an email. "There were at least half a dozen people with similar profiles in the immediate vicinity where that photo was taken."

Yet only one has a Wikipedia page. The luck of the camera's gaze means that history will be able to place Tomason at a decisive moment in war on terrorism, but not her colleagues.

I know the sit room's photograph's moment has passed, but I hadn't seen the presence of so many other staff members like Tomason noted anywhere. This one's for the record.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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