News & Events

IFE INFO Panel on the Internet of Things (IoT)

John Paul Farmer with White House Presidential Innovation Fellows Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, Dr. Joe Polastre and Geoff Mulligan

John Paul Farmer with White House Presidential Innovation Fellows Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, Dr. Joe Polastre and Geoff Mulligan. Photo Credit: Kevin Allen

The splendid Kalorama home of UNESCO Ambassador Esther Coopersmith is a place where beautiful things, from oil paintings to figurines to antique furniture, are everywhere. On Tuesday, June 16, the Institute for Education held a salon that imagined a future where the things we use are not just attractive and functional, but also smart. 

The panel included Aneesh Chopra, former Assistant to the President and the first-ever Chief Technology Officer of the United States, as well as White House Presidential Innovation Fellows Geoff Mulligan, Dr. Joe Polastre and Dr. Sokwoo Rhee. It was moderated by John Paul Farmer, IFE Emerging Markets Roundtable Co-founder and Director of Technology & Civic Innovation at Microsoft. 

An intimate gathering attended, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Eleanor Clift of The Daily Beast, Jill Dougherty of CNN, and IFE Steward Ed Henry of Fox News. Representing IFE were Co-founders Coach Kathy Kemper and James Valentine, Board of Stewards Chair Marci Robinson, and Innovation Steward Dr. Amy Geng.Watch a video recap of the “Internet of Things” here:

“Computing is moving to the edges,” said Polastre. The Internet, he noted, was designed for people to talk to people, but advances in technology have created opportunities for objects to communicate directly with other objects, collecting data and triggering actions that make our society more efficient—and even save lives.

What does it mean for things to be smart? Mulligan described a pilot program held in the homes of elderly, low-income residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, that greatly extends the capabilities of ordinary home smoke detectors. Recently showcased at the SmartAmerica Expo spearheaded by Mulligan and Rhee, the networked smoke detectors gathered data on smoke, gas, light, mold and pollen in the homes, and also monitored the motions of the people who lived there to ensure that they are healthy and active. Insights from these devices promise to improve quality of life for broad numbers of consumers.

Much of the potential of the Internet of Things lies in similar sensor-based efforts to gather information that will help us better understand trends and behaviors, and respond to them quickly. Think of a world where road sensors and traffic lights smooth out traffic jams and protect drivers, and houses and offices better conform to our needs.

“We might design a building that we think is better, but if we aren’t collecting data we don’t really know,” said Farmer. The Internet of Things can enable “feedback loops” that show us what’s working and what could be improved, and enable action to be taken in milliseconds.

Justice Breyer voiced support for the concept but raised questions about privacy and the role of government. He told the story of architect Frank Gehry, who prior to designing the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles spent eight months sitting with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to better understand what the new venue would need to do.

“You don’t know what I need, and what’s interesting is, I don’t know what I need,” said Justice Breyer. “Is someone from the White House going to sit with me for eight months?”

Chopra, the author of “Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform the Government,” responded to Justice Breyer by describing “modest and well-defined” policy frameworks that directly empower individuals and create opportunities for innovation in the private sector. He cited the example of Pacific Gas and Electric, a California energy utility that instituted “Green Button,” a standard developed by the White House in collaboration with companies to allow consumers to securely download their own detailed energy-use profile with a simple online button-click. Individuals can then take advantage of apps and services developed by private industry to use the data to make smarter energy choices and save money. 

The panel agreed that we have seen only the beginning of what the Internet of Things can do to improve the lives of Americans. One day soon, Ambassador Coopersmith’s home might be more than a stunning collection of art and history. It could also be a place where seemingly ordinary objects make her guests happier, healthier, and a little bit smarter.

Contributed by Mark Schulte, IFE Fellow | Photo Credit: Kevin Allen
Posted in IFE Updates, News & Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , | .

IFE Honors Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at U.S. Supreme Court

More than one hundred and fifty friends of the Institute for Education gathered at the presentation of IFE’s 2014 Cultural Diplomacy Award to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at an evening salon in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday, September 22.
In celebration of Justice Ginsburg’s passion for opera, IFE invited world-renowned opera star, Denyce Graves to open the unforgettable night. Justice Ginsburg, taking evident delight in the honors, introduced Ms. Graves as our “Mezzo-Soprano supreme.” Graves delivered a stunning performance of an eclectic selection of works that ranged from Stephano Donaudy to Rodgers and Hammerstein, and received a standing ovation. A special thank you to pianist Andrew Harley for accompanying Denyce Graves.
“A hearty welcome to my workplace,” Justice Ginsburg told an audience comprising IFE’s unique blend of thought leaders from the diplomatic corps, and business, tech, and press communities.
Ina Ginsburg, herself an IFE Cultural Diplomacy Award recipient from 2012 and an IFE Steward, presented Justice Ginsburg with her award along with IFE CEO and Founder, Coach  Kathy Kemper.
In attendance representing their nations were Her Excellency Claudia Fritsche of Liechtenstein,​ Her Excellency Ritva Koukku-Ronde of Finland, His Excellency Kenichiro Sasae of Japan, and His Excellency Johan Verbeke of the Kingdom of Belgium, Laura Perez Vazquez, wife of Mexican Ambassador also attended.
Also attending were IFE Emerging Markets Roundtable Cofounders John Paul Farmer and Andrew Mitchell, Dr. R. David Edelman, White House Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation and IFE Fellow, IFE Innovation Steward Dr. Amy Geng,  IFE Board of Stewards Chair Marci Robinson and IFE’s special friends, former  United States Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park, and newly minted USCTO Megan Smith, joined the gathering as well.

IFE’s special relationship with the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program was in full evidence, with 22 PIFs attending from rounds one, two and three. These technology wizards, memorably referred to as “the badasses of the badasses,” by former United States Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, are recruited broadly from the private sector to find ways to innovate aggressively in government.
As impressive and diverse as the audience was, all eyes were on the honoree of the evening, a woman who knows well what it means to flout convention and challenge the status quo.
“As an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality,” observed the Honorable Theodore B. Olson, former Solicitor General of the United States, in an introduction to Justice Ginsburg, “she changed the world.”
Olson noted that Justice Ginsburg was one of just nine women in her class at Harvard Law School, the first to be tenured at Columbia Law School, and was the second ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court, after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
“Her questions are invariably tough, focused, penetrating, and, for an advocate, very scary,” said Olson. “If I was limited to six words” to describe her, “they would be pioneer, commitment, dedication, courage, passion, and warrior.”

Olson shared some little-known facts about the Justice, including her near-perfect attendance record: she did not miss a day at the bench while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for cancer in 1999 and a decade later heard oral arguments just 12 days after an operation to remove a tumor on her pancreas. A polymath and lifelong learner, she became fluent in Swedish after law school, and co-authored a book on the Swedish legal system shortly thereafter.
After a brief history of the past Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, whose portraits hang in the East Conference Room, Justice Ginsburg opened the floor to questions from the audience. Often whimsical and candid but ever prudent, the Justice, when pressed on legal matters that may yet come before the court, referred questioners to the court record. There is to date more than 21 years of that, and as Justice Ginsburg has recently made plain, much more to come.

Contributed by Mark Schulte, IFE Fellow

Review: Event Photos | Reliable Post | Photo Credit: Kevin Allen

KAP_IFE_Ginsburg-094 KAP_IFE_Ginsburg-087 KAP_IFE_Ginsburg-114







About Our Distinguished Guest:

Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg_official_portraitRuth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, was born in Brooklyn, New York, March 15, 1933. She married Martin D. Ginsburg in 1954, and has a daughter, Jane, and a son, James. She received her B.A. from Cornell University, attended Harvard Law School, and received her LL.B. from Columbia Law School. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edmund L. Palmieri, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, from 1959–1961. From 1961–1963, she was a research associate and then associate director of the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure. She was a Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963–1972, and Columbia Law School from 1972–1980, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California from 1977–1978. In 1971, she was Co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973–1980, and on the National Board of Directors from 1974–1980. She served on the Board and Executive Committee of the American Bar Foundation from 1979-1989, on the Board of Editors of the American Bar Association Journal from 1972-1978, and on the Council of the American Law Institute from 1978-1993. She was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. President Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat August 10, 1993. Read More | Justice Ginsburg’s Opinions

About Our Performer:

denyce gravesRecognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. USA Today identifies her as “an operatic superstar of the 21st Century,” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclaims, “if the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves.” Her career has taken her to the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals and to delight audiences in concert and recital appearances. Denyce Graves has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila. These signature roles have brought Ms. Graves to the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Teatro Real in Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles Opera, and the Festival Maggio Musicale in Florence. Read entire bio or view Ms. Graves’ website.

About of Introducer:

ted-olsonTheodore B. Olson is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office, a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the Appellate and Constitutional Law Group and the firm’s Crisis Management Team. Mr. Olson was Solicitor General of the United States during the period 2001-2004. From 1981-1984 he was Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. Except for those two intervals, he has been a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. since 1965. Selected by Time magazine in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Mr. Olson is one of the nation’s premier appellate and United States Supreme Court advocates. He has argued 60 cases in the Supreme Court, including the two Bush v. Gore cases arising out of the 2000 presidential election, and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, prevailing in over 75% of those arguments. Mr. Olson’s practice is concentrated on appellate and constitutional law, federal legislation, media and commercial disputes, and assisting clients with strategies for the containment, management and resolution of major legal crises occurring at the federal/state, criminal/civil and domestic/international levels. He has handled cases at all levels of state and federal court systems throughout the United States, and in international tribunals. Mr. Olson’s Supreme Court arguments have included cases involving separation of powers; federalism; voting rights; the First Amendment; the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses; jury trial rights; punitive damages; takings of property and just compensation; the Commerce Clause; taxation; criminal law; copyright; antitrust; securities; campaign finance; telecommunications; the environment; the internet; and other federal constitutional and statutory questions. Mr. Olson is co-author of the book “Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality” with David Boies. Read More | Selected Appellate Litigation





Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | .

IFE Fellow Ali Wyne on: What Is America’s Role in the World?

What Is America’s Role in the World? By Ali Wyne | Published on October 30, 2014, The American Interest

A crisis-driven foreign policy will inevitably succumb to disorientation and exhaustion. The United States needs a serious discussion about its role in the world—one that matches objectives and means.

 “Rarely,” the New York Times observed this July, “has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises all at once.” Some of these crises, like the ascent of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), are bloody and fast-moving. Others, like the civil war in Syria, are grisly, protracted, and slow-moving. Others are grinding along sufficiently slowly that they feel less like crises than enduring foreign-policy challenges: consider the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program, which Graham Allison likens to “a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion,” and China’s quiet but purposeful campaign to settle its maritime disputes, which will likely play out over several decades.

It is safe to assume that much of the foreign-policy debate between the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees in 2016 will center on how the United States should adjust its foreign policy in response to these crises. Some observers contend that the Obama administration was unwise to reorient America’s strategic focus toward the Asia-Pacific; in light of recent developments, particularly those of this year, they believe the U.S. must accord comparable priority to constraining the potential for future Russian revanchism and preventing terrorist outfits from consolidating their influence amid the disintegration of the Middle Eastern and North African order. Other observers retort that the U.S. should continue to prioritize the rebalance, noting that the Asia-Pacific’s centrality to the global economic and military balances is poised to rise indefinitely.

This debate about the distribution of America’s strategic equities is critical. Its prescriptive value will be limited, however, unless it is accompanied by—or, better yet, subordinated to—a more fundamental discussion of America’s role in the evolving world order. The clearer America’s understanding of that role is, the more discriminating the United States can be in appraising how significantly a given crisis threatens its central objectives in the world. The less clear that understanding is, the more likely it will be to pursue a foreign policy that simply proceeds in accordance with the crises of the day: firefighting is a compelling alibi, after all, when one is struggling to define the focus of one’s foreign policy. Unfortunately, however, unless the crises of the day neatly align with the tectonic shifts in world order (the latter of which should be a central determinant of U.S. strategy), a crisis-driven foreign policy will inevitably succumb to disorientation and exhaustion.

In its simplest conception, a discussion about America’s role can be distilled down to three questions: What objectives does it seek to achieve in world affairs? What objectives does it have the operational capacity to achieve? And what objectives lie at the intersection of those two sets? Henry Kissinger proposes the following questions in the conclusion of World Order:

  • What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? The answer defines the minimum condition of the survival of the society.
  • What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? These goals define the minimum objectives of the national strategy.
  • What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? This defines the outer limits of the country’s strategic aspirations as part of a global system.
  • What should we not engage in, even if urged by a multilateral group or an alliance? This defines the limiting condition of the American participation in world order.
  • Above all, what is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? What applications depend in part on circumstance?

While crises will inevitably shape the answers to these questions, their transience, as well as the haphazardness with which they occur, prevent them from offering enduring guidance about U.S. foreign policy.

There are several other factors that complicate America’s efforts to determine its world role, beginning with the gap between its operational capacity and its perceived imperatives. Economic weakness at home—comprising sluggish growth, high unemployment, and growing debt, among other phenomena—limits the potential scope of America’s engagement around the world. Moreover, notwithstanding its support for air strikes to counter ISIL’s territorial gains, the American public remains, on balance, reluctant to pursue a proactive foreign policy: according to a report this June by the Pew Research Center, only 35 percent of Americans think “it’s best for the future of the country to be active in world affairs.” On the other hand, as the number of crises that challenge U.S. national interests grows, so does the pressure—from policymakers and observers at home and in allied countries—for the United States to be more engaged (the certainty with which it is argued that the U.S. should “do something,” it should be noted, often belies the absence of guidance on what the U.S. is actually to do).

A second factor is the absence of an overarching threat. Testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in early 1993, James Woolsey famously observed that “we have slain a large dragon [the Soviet Union], but we live now in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes. And in many ways the dragon was easier to keep track of.” Most observers would agree that the number and variety of snakes have grown in the intervening two decades: consider, for example, the economic damage an individual or small organization can inflict via cyberspace. Still, it is hard to construe any of those snakes as an existential challenge. What about the rise of China, America’s putative superpower replacement? The International Monetary Fund estimates that its economy has overtaken America’s at purchasing power parity, and a range of respected organizations forecast that its defense spending could eclipse America’s well before the middle of the century. The Economist contends, moreover, that China is “not just challenging the existing world order. Slowly, messily, and apparently with no clear end in view, it is building a new one.”

Even if one concurs with this assessment, however, China is not an adversary. An increasingly formidable competitor? Yes. A growing rival in some respects? Yes. The only country that could credibly emerge as a peer competitor of the United States along current trend lines? Yes. But one need not indulge any illusions about China’s internal politics or strategic interests to appreciate that neither China’s dissolution nor terminal Chinese decline would advance U.S. national interests; rather, those phenomena would deal a blow to America’s fragile economic recovery, thereby further limiting its ability to engage abroad.

That reality is a third complicating factor. While Republican and Democratic presidents alike struggled to implement containment over nearly half a century, they agreed that that policy should culminate in the Soviet Union’s defeat. There is no such consensus about the goal of America’s policy towards China. As China’s comprehensive national power grows, it will become harder for the United States to maintain an equilibrium between the competitive dynamics that are intrinsic to their relationship and the collaborative ones that must be sustained for world order to progress. There is no self-evident way for the United States to reconcile its own narrative of exceptionalism with China’s. Nor, moreover, is there any clear way of concretizing a “new model” of great-power relations between two countries when neither one has any experience with or inclination towards sustaining world order in partnership with a possible equivalent.

A fourth factor is the potential for a vacuum in world order. Because no country or coalition besides the United States is either able or willing to replace it as the principal guarantor, some observers fear that U.S. abdication—whether deliberate or involuntary—would yield chaos. Richard Haass warns in the new issue of Foreign Affairs that “with U.S. hegemony waning but no successor waiting to pick up the baton, the likeliest future is one in which the current international system gives way to a disorderly one with a larger number of power centers acting with increasing autonomy, paying less heed to U.S. interests and preferences.” There are, of course, prominent dissenters: Ian Buruma and Barry Posen, for example, argue that it is simplistic and self-serving for the United States to posit a dichotomy between a world in which it plays the preponderant role in sustaining order and one that devolves into anarchy. Still, few observers are itching to test whether a world without a clear anchor can be equally peaceful and prosperous. While the United States may be tempted to preempt a vacuum by playing its current role indefinitely, that course also entails considerable risks: it could enervate the U.S. economy and encourage America’s allies in Europe and the Asia-Pacific to continue free-riding off of it. An exhausted United States and a network of U.S. allies that are unprepared to provide for their own security hardly provide an stable foundation for a new world order.

The United States may not be able to develop a grand strategy; indeed, in a world of ever-increasing complexity, perhaps the mere desire to attain one is quixotic. It is certain, however, that U.S. foreign policy will grow more incoherent the longer it postpones a candid discussion on its role in the world.

IFE Fellow Ali Wyne is a contributing analyst at Wikistrat and a coauthor of Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World (2013).

Read online: What Is America’s Role in the World?

Posted in Fellows & Interns, IFE Updates | Tagged , , | .

IFE Welcomes PIF Round 3 and PIF Alumni!!

Three United States Chief Technology Officers: Aneesh Chopra (2009-2012), Megan Smith (2014-), and Todd Park (2012-2014)

Three United States Chief Technology Officers: Aneesh Chopra (2009-2012), Megan Smith (2014-), and Todd Park (2012-2014)

On September 21, 2014, the Institute for Education welcomed Round 3 of the Presidential Innovation Fellows to Washington, D.C., as they began their 12-month “tours of duty” in the federal government. Guests enjoyed a magical evening and splendid dinner buffet at Coach Kathy Kemper’s newly rebuilt Lowell Street residence, transformed by strings of twinkling lights.

Christopher Daggett (Internal Revenue Service), Bosco So (Department of Energy), and Rachel Harrison Gordon (Department of Veterans Affairs)

Christopher Daggett (Internal Revenue Service), Bosco So (Department of Energy), and Rachel Harrison Gordon (Department of Veterans Affairs)

Round 3 PIFs and their respective agencies included: Sarah Brooks, Rachel Harrison-Gordon, Andrea Ippolito, Robert Sosinski, and Julia Winn of the Department of Veterans Affairs; Christopher Daggett and Ben Getson of the Internal Revenue Service; Christopher Goranson of the Department of the Interior; Bosco So and Denice Ross of the Department of Energy; Lea Shanley from NASA; and Christopher Wong of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Pictured above: John Paul Farmer, Coach Kathy Kemper, Rohini Chopra, Aneesh Chopra,  Megan Smith, Amy Geng, and Todd Park.

Pictured above: John Paul Farmer, Coach Kathy Kemper, Rohini Chopra, Aneesh Chopra,
Megan Smith, Amy Geng, and Todd Park.

Several PIFs from previous rounds came to share tips and advice, including Tom Black, John Felleman, Derek Frempong, Sokwoo Rhee, Scott Wu, and Jackie Kazil. Kazil’s husband Josh Carrico, a talented pastry chef provided sumptuous tiramisu and pumpkin spice cupcakes for dessert.

“The best cupcakes I have ever had,” declared Joan Sealy, mother of Coach Kemper. Her praise was echoed by many other guests.

Todd Park and John Paul Farmer chat with Robert Sosinki, incoming PIF at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Todd Park and John Paul Farmer chat with Robert Sosinki, incoming PIF at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Several PIFs from previous rounds came to share tips and advice, including Tom Black, John Felleman, Derek Frempong, Sokwoo Rhee, Scott Wu, and Jackie Kazil. Kazil’s husband Josh Carrico, a talented pastry chef provided sumptuous tiramisu and pumpkin spice cupcakes for dessert.

“The best cupcakes I have ever had,” declared Joan Sealy, mother of Coach Kemper. Her praise was echoed by many other guests.

In conclusion: A hearty welcome to the Round 3 Presidential Innovation Fellows! PIF alumni, don’t forget to check out the photos on Flickr.

Contributed by Dr. Amy Geng, IFE Innovation Steward
All photos by Kevin Allen

Posted in IFE Updates | Tagged , , , , | .

IFE NextGen hosts White House superstar Vivian Graubard

On October 22nd, The Institute for Education’s NEXT GEN Roundtable welcomed Ms. Vivian Graubard, White House Senior Advisor, as our guest speaker. The event, held at the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, began as Ms. Graubard briefly spoke about her life and career before opening the floor for Q&A from our high school- and college-age attendees.

When Ms. Graubard graduated from American University, she had no idea what she was going to do as she entered adult life. In hopes of learning Mandarin and finding some inspiration, she had made plans to move to China and, having a few months before departure, decided to volunteer in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence. What was supposed to be a mere weekly four-hour volunteer job to bide the time turned into an invitation to work for the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

But after a year of working on these particular projects, she states the she “realized that that was not the exact thing that I wanted to be doing because I had gotten away from a lot of the policy and social justice issues that I cared about.”

In pursuit of these goals, she worked her way into a position with Chief Technology Officer Todd Park at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as a Confidential Assistant as well as a Policy Advisor. She considered Mr. Park “one of the most amazing and most powerful people in government,” and she claimed that it was the best decision she had ever made. When a call from the First Lady came into the Chief Technology Officer’s office regarding a project around combating human trafficking, Graubard was tapped to take on the challenge. Over the last 3 years, Ms. Graubard has run the White House’s several technology and social policy initiatives from human trafficking to protecting students from sexual assault on college campuses.

“If you have seen the ESPN or CNN articles of schools who are suddenly under investigation by the Department of Education” Ms. Graubard said, “that is the direct result of work that I did with the Department of Education along with the Department of Justice to open up that data.”

On her work in technology, Ms. Graubard identified herself as a technologist, though not in the traditional sense. To her, we are all technologists now, based on the way we communicate and exchange information with one another.

Among her many achievements, Vivian Graubard is a founding member of the US Digital Services, a new task force in the White House which was initially launched to help fix problems with the healthcare.gov website and was also on TIME magazine’s prestigious “30 people under 30.”

Attendees were also thrilled to meet IFE Fellow and former NextGen speaker, Ali Wyne, who spoke about his work and signed a few books for the book raffle. Ali Wyne has been nominated for the upcoming Forbes “30 people under 30” list, specifically within the Law and Policy group. Mr. Wyne has been a researcher for the Harvard Belfer Center and the Rand Corporation as well as co-author of the book Lee Kuan Yew, The Grandmaster’s Insights on China, the United States, and the WorldClick here to help support Mr. Wyne’s nomination for Forbes “30 people under 30” list.

Here’s some insight on what NEXT GENers had to say about our NEXT GEN roundtable with Vivian Graubard!

“Vivian talked about how the U.S. Digital services is aiming work to combat human trafficking through law enforcement information sharing, which is directly related to my Justice and Law coursework in Organized Crime. She also had a lot of interesting information in regards to her career path and how she incidentally started working at the White House for Todd Park.” – Patrick Roux, IFE Intern, American University Class of 2016

“Vivian has chutzpah.  The more competitive the world becomes, the more we’ll all need chutzpah to get ourselves noticed and secure professional opportunities.” – Ali Wyne, IFE Fellow, Researcher at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

“I was astounded by Vivian’s ability to truly take life as it comes, it was apparent through her stories of how she originally got a position in the White House to getting to where she is today that she is unafraid of opportunity. Even though she has come so far and earned so many merits, she has not let her ambition make her arrogant, instead being very approachable and friendly. She has inspired me to pursue computer science and I know she has done the same for many other girls.” – Malissa Abdulla, IFE Intern, American University Class of 2016

“The top personal story thing has to be about her being bold enough and crafty in meeting Todd Park before actually having the interview. Professorial wise, it has to be about being open to different opportunities and how taking chances can lead to big things. She said repeatedly she did not have a plan, but she did keep moving forward.” – Quenton Horton, IFE Fellow

“My top takeaway was Vivian ‘leaning in’ with tapping Todd Park on his shoulder on the flight to Denver, just before her interview with him on Tuesday. And walking up the aisle to go to the bathroom , not needing to go at all, but only to look at him in his seat to see if that was really him, on the way back from the bath room! Having never seeing him in person, so just verifying that it was him. That takes guts! Then she tapped!” – Coach Kathy Kemper, IFE Founder and CEO

View IFE NextGen event photos

Intern Julia Ravenscroft present our speakerswith a thank you gift - a photo of Ms. Graubard with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Dr. Amy Geng from the IFE INFO held in September.

Intern Julia Ravenscroft presents NextGen speaker Vivian Graubard with a thank you gift – a photo of Vivian with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Dr. Amy Geng from the IFE INFO held in September.

IFE fellows and interns with Speaker Vivian Graubard. From left:  Nicholas Roberts, Quenton Horton, Patrick, Vivian Graubard, Emily Walke, Julia Ravenscroft, Oliver Walke and Nathalia Penton (NextGen Program Manager).

IFE fellows and interns with Speaker Vivian Graubard. From left: Nicholas Roberts, Quenton Horton, Patrick Roux, Vivian Graubard, Emily Walke, Julia Ravenscroft, Oliver Walke and Nathalia Penton (NextGen Program Director).

Guests received signed copies of books by Aneesh Chopra and Ali Wyne as raffle prizes.

Attendees received signed copies of books by Aneesh Chopra and Ali Wyne as raffle prizes.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dr. Amy Geng (IFE Innovation Steward) and Vivian Graubard.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dr. Amy Geng (IFE Innovation Steward) and Vivian Graubard.

About our speaker: Vivian Graubard | TIME 30 Under 30: 2013 World Changers | TIME.com

Vivian Graubard serves is a founding member of the United States Digital Service. Previously, she served as an Advisor to the United States Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park, within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). There, she led OSTP’s Tech Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, which focuses on leveraging technological innovation to help combat human trafficking and enable victims to connect to help and support. She continues to be involved within White House initiatives to increase diversity within the tech community and to support greater inclusion of girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), as well as leveraging technology and data to combat gender-based violence and prevent sexual assault on college campuses. Vivian worked closely with CTO Park to launch the Presidential Innovation Fellows program—a new initiative that brings leading tech innovators into government for focused “tours of duty” to work on game-changing projects that help make government smarter, more effective, and more efficient.

In 2013, Vivian was named one of Time Magazine’s 30 people under 30 who are Changing the World, and in 2014, she was included on Business Insiders list of the 30 Most Influential Women in the World. In 2014 she was named “One of Twenty Women who are Changing the Ratio” by Marie Claire Magazine. Prior to joining the White House, Vivian was a technology and communications fellow at Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking. She also worked with The Emancipation Network in Kolkata, India, helping young girls who had been placed in orphanages after being rescued from sex trafficking enterprises. Vivian serves on the advisory board for DC Central Kitchen and serves as the Tech Designee for the White House Council on Women and Girls. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from American University, where she pursued a dual concentration in Information Systems and Technology and International Business.

Click here to download event flyer.


Posted in IFE Updates, News & Events | Tagged , , , , , | .

Institute for Education Honors – The Georgetowner

The Georgetowner PQThe Georgetowner

View: Institute for Education Honors -The Georgetowner | Article PDF

Posted in IFE in the News | Tagged , , , , , , | .
  • Testimonials

    “For freewheeling intellectual debate, wonderful camaraderie and an unparalleled network, IFE truly stands alone. Kathy Kemper has done a remarkable job.”

    -Wegger Chr. Strommen, Ambassador of Norway to The United States