A little about my professional experience...
My experience has focused on the public sector with concentrations on research and development, open innovation, prizes and challenges, open government, public private partnerships, grants management, and technology policy. Currently, I am the Program Executive for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR) at NASA. The NASA SBIR and STTR programs fund small businesses approximately $200M annually for research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies that fulfill NASA needs and have significant potential for successful commercialization.
Unrelated to my NASA duties, I am also a digitalHKS research fellow (2018-2019) at the Harvard Kennedy School. My research with digitalHKS is focused on humanizing the future of work and visualizing the impact of technology on jobs to empower organizations, employees, and individuals to create a more positive future.
Previously, I worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Open Innovation where I was responsible for scaling the use of open innovation approaches like prizes, crowdsourcing, and citizen science across the Federal Government. Among other accomplishments, in this role I co-founded GSA’s citizenscience.gov program and oversaw a cumulative doubling of the use of incentive prizes government-wide (from 350 total prizes conducted from 2010-2014 to 700 total prizes from 2010-2016). In 2016 I was honored as a Sammies Finalist for my work on open innovation at both OSTP and NASA. I also co-chaired, from 2016-2018, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Interagency Working Group on making.
Prior to my time at the White House, I was the Prizes and Challenges Program Executive in the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. In this leadership and strategy role, I coordinated the use of challenge-driven open innovation methods, such as prize competitions, citizen science, challenges, and crowdsourcing, at NASA. I also led NASA’s formulation efforts for its Grand Challenges: bold, but achievable science, technology, and innovation goals that are specific enough to convey what success looks like and broad enough to capture our imagination while unifying public and private constituencies around a clear “call to action”. NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge to “find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them” was announced in June 2013.
Before NASA, I consulted several Federal Government agencies on open government issues such as the Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development as the Associate Director for Strategic Engagement and Communications at Phase One Consulting Group.
My first job out of MIT was at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as the senior program analyst for $400 million in annual transportation security grant programs. I was honored as a TSA-wide Unsung Hero for my work on modernizing the grants programs.
I speak often at events and have also authored several publications and book chapters on many topics including grand challenges, scaling innovation within the public sector, open innovation, security policy, harnessing public-private partnerships to optimize public service delivery, and the evolution of e-democracy.
A little about my education...
I graduated from the University of Florida with my bachelors degree in aerospace engineering and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with my masters degree in Technology Policy. My graduate thesis focused on public private partnerships, a topic that has continued to be a passion to this day. You can check out my thesis here: http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/40299/191092130.pdf?sequence=1
A little about my hobbies...
I serve on a few boards for organizations who tackle issues I really care about, like the Van Alen Institute. I'm a former design thinking evangelist with http://www.meetup.com/Design-Thinking-DC/ and was a DC Gator Club board member.
When I'm not working or contributing to those organizations you can find me running/ training, traveling the world, singing in competitive karaoke, cheering on gator football, and cooking good food and drinking good wine.
For even more detail...