Innovation Fellows: Round Three


Does your agency struggle to find talented midcareer IT professionals?

The White House on Thursday announced it is looking to fill a new roster of external entrepreneurs and technologists willing to serve short-term assignments to tackle some key government challenges.

Round three of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program will pair up talented individuals from outside government with top civil servants to work on one of 14 projects aimed at addressing key challenges and making government services smarter and more efficient.  

“At its core, the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is as strong as the incredible people that are willing to join this effort and serve their country,” federal CTO Todd Park and General Services Administrator Dan Tangherlini wrote in a blog post on “That’s why we want the best and brightest individuals – original thinkers, gifted designers, tech-savvy strategists, private-sector doers, inventors, entrepreneurs and talented developers and engineers – to offer up their skills and expertise to create huge value for the American public.”

As agencies have and continue to struggle to build an adequate pipeline of mid-career talent, the Presidential Innovation Fellows program represents an innovative approach to finding that talent, Tim McManus, vice president of education and outreach at the Partnership for Public Service, said Wednesday.

“Agencies ought to be concerned about how they’re building that bench strength not only at the entry level but also for mid-career employees who can perform a job immediately without a lot of ramp-up time,” he said. “There isn’t a built-up pipeline, so agencies have to think differently about how to bring that talent in. The Presidential Innovation Fellows program is one of the neat things I’ve seen in government in that arena.”

Does your agency struggle to find talented midcareer IT professionals? Has the innovation fellows program helped at all to bridge that gap?