OPM Director John Berry administers oath to inaugural members of Presidential Innovation Fellows program following introduction by Federal CTO Todd Park and CIO Steve VanRoekel.
The White House introduced 18 incoming members of the Presidential Innovation Fellows at a ceremony in Washington on Thursday who will work as volunteers on five projects with innovators from within the federal government.
Representing a diverse set of skills – from a lawyer, to a former nuclear engineer, to a health care startup executive – the 18 Fellows were selected from 700 applicants from across the country to help jump start five federal innovation initiatives over the next six months.
Federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel, who jointly announced the launch of the program in May, introduced the newly-named individuals:
Five Fellows will work on MyGov (@ProjectMyGov).
• Kara DeFrias’ background is in user experience development. She is the social media manager for TEDx San Diego, an event intended to simulate the TED conferences.
• Phil Ashlock is co-founder of the Civic Commons in Brooklyn NY, a non-profit that helps governments build and use shared and open technologies.
• Danny Chapman owns a Website design firm with his wife in Riverside, Rhode Island.
• Guy Gershman, from Baltimore, is part of the team building Search.USA.gov. He founded blog search engine Blogdigger and specializes in search technology and Web development.
• Ben Balter, from Washington DC, is chief technology officer at Hacks/Hackers, a grassroots organization dedicated to re-thinking news and journalism. It has a world-wide network of journalists. He is also working on J.D. and MBA degrees at the George Washington University, and he is a New Media Fellow at the FCC. He was also a Fellow of the Office of the US CIO and a member of the Software Automation and Technology Presidential Team, both in the Executive Office of the President.
The Project Open Data initiative (@ProjectOpenData) has six Fellows.
• Ian Kalin, previously a Navy nuclear engineer and counter-terrorism officer, is now the director of the Energy Data Initiative at the US Department of Energy and the managing director of an energy startup in San Francisco.
• Marina Martin of Seattle is Entrepreneur in Residence and head of the Educational Data Initiative at the US Department of Education.
• Lawyer Raphael Majma of Brooklyn NY is the research director of the Research Initiative on Open Government Data and the Nonprofit Sector.
• Nick Bramble is the Director of the Law and Media Program at Yale Law School in New Haven CT.
• Dmitry Kachaev of Arlington VA is the Citizen Developer at Open Muni Labs, which is hosted on code-sharing site GitHub to develop applications such as a finder for inspection stations for child safety seats.
• Nathaniel Manning is the Director of Business Development and Strategy at Ushahidi in San Francisco, a company developing a platform for crowdsourcing crisis information from texts and mobile devices.
The 20 Percent Initiative (@ProjectTwenty) will have Fellow Karl Mehta, the founder and CEO of PlaySpan, a Fremont CA company that provides worldwide online payment methods, including microtransactions.
Three Fellows will support the Blue Button for America (@ProjectBlueBtn) project.
• Henry Wei, MD, based in New York City, is a clinical instructor in medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College and the Medical Director of Clinical Research at ActiveHealth Management, a company that uses information to help doctors provide better medical care for patient. He is an expert in informatics.
• Ryan Panchadsaram is the co-founder of San Francisco-based Pipette, a mobile health start-up focuses on turning consumer mobile devices into remote monitors for patients. Through patient reports on their conditions, doctors can better manage medical complications.
• Matt McCall is an IT specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Baltimore and has worked in health information technology.
The RFP-EZ initiative (@ProjectRFPEZ), to make it easier for small, high-growth companies to work with the government, has three Fellows.
• Clay Johnson, of Washington DC, is author of “The Information Diet” and the former director of Sunlight Labs, part of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the digitization and transparency of government data.
• Jed Wood is the Lab Lead at GravityTank, an innovation consultancy in Chicago. He is an interaction designer, entrepreneur, and a specialist in rapid prototyping.
• Adam Becker founded GovHub in Oakland CA, a site that encourages civic engagement. The site currently has more than 1000 members.