IFE’s Sixth Annual Innovation Brunch celebrates #CivicTechService


On Sunday, January 12, 2020, Institute for Education Founder Coach Kathy Kemper, along with former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park and his wife Dr. Amy Geng, IFE Innovation Steward, hosted the Sixth Annual West Coast Innovation brunch. Todd and Amy graciously welcomed civic technology trailblazers into their lovely Los Altos, CA home to mark another year of #CivicTechService impact that the Presidential Innovation Fellows, USDS, Tech Congress, Coding it Forward, 18F and other technologists continue to have across the federal government. This year’s brunch convened strategists, technologists, current and former government officials, and journalists around rich conversations dedicated to connecting Silicon Valley and DC thought leaders in order to best serve the American people.

Todd Park, a proud Co-Founder of the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program and former U.S. CTO, emphasized the important role that PIFs play in partnering with government leaders to leverage cutting-edge technologies in response to some of our country’s most complex problems. He welcomed Joshua Di Frances, Executive Director of PIF, who provided an overview of the diversity of the projects that PIFs work on, from cutting the processing time of veteran claims, to precision medicine, to implementing the White House’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Fellows and alumni in attendance included Georgeta Dragoiu, Clara Tsao, Steven Babitch, and Dennis Chornenky.

Todd Park and Coach Kemper then honored Michael Brown, Director of the Defense Innovation Unit and a distinguished PIF, with the inaugural IFE #CivicTechService Awesomeness Award. Michael Brown’s dedicated service in government embodies the values and results that civic strategists and technologists deliver during their tour of duty. At DIU, his leadership accelerates the adoption of commercial technology into the military that stimulates the national security innovation base.

Guests also had the privilege to hear from Kevin McGinnis, Director for Research and Analysis at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence on the ways the United States is advancing the development of AI for national security and defense purposes.

We thank everyone for flying in from around the country to attend this exclusive gathering and Abigail Tcheng for capturing these moments through her photography. IFE will continue to convene technology leaders through similar soft diplomacy forums.  IFE’s mission is to harness the power of data, innovation, and soft diplomacy in the global community.

Spotted: Michael Brown, Director of the Defense Innovation Unit, Kathy ‘Coach’ Kemper, Raj Shah, Fedscoop’s Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, Tom Kalil, Ryan Panchadsaram, Kevin McGinnis, Christopher Kirchhoff, Christina Kemper Valentine, Georgeta Dragoiu, Clara Tsao, Casper Klynge, Tech Ambassador of Denmark, Michelle Lee, DJ and Devika Patil, Chris Golden, Wyatt Meldman-Floch, Emily Lovell, Joshua Di Frances, Michael Breyer, Amy Wilson, Cori Zarek, Matt Goldman

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Contributed by Georgeta Dragoiu

Georgeta Dragoiu is a Presidential Innovation Fellow from Washington, D.C., working at the National Institutes of Health with the All of Us Research program. Dragoiu is an entrepreneur, business strategist, and public relations professional. As the founder of a strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C., Georgeta has served as a key strategist in shaping public debates about such issues as driverless cars, climate change, gender equality, and technology policy. Georgeta graduated from Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Chicago. Her writings have been featured in the Washington Post, The Hill, The Christian Science Monitor, and TribTalk.

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