White House Introduces New Class of Innovation Fellows

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

Private sector whizzes to spend a year on government problems.

The White House has pulled nearly 30 innovative techies from the private sector to spend a year tackling thorny government problems, introducing the third class of Presidential Innovation Fellows.

The White House today posted the assignments and backgrounds of 27 incoming fellows -- 10 women and 17 men -- who specialize in design, development, data and management.

Six of the round 3 fellows will be working at the Department of Veterans Affairs on technology to better serve veterans. The rest are scattered throughout nine departments, including four at the Energy Department, three at NASA and two at the Internal Revenue Service, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Labor and State departments.

The class was selected from more than 1,000 applicants, according to the General Services Administration, which hosts the fellows program. GSA said participants will be “supported” by 18F and “work alongside” the new U.S. Digital Service, both of which aim bring the best of private sector sensibilities to government technology projects.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows program was launched under former Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, who has been credited with drawing private sector tech talent through this and other efforts.

“My own view is that his leadership in establishing the Presidential Innovation Fellows program may prove to be his most important and lasting initiative,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., told Nextgov last month, when the White House announced Park would be stepping down as federal CTO to work for the White House from Silicon Valley.

Since the first group was announced two years ago, fellows have worked on a handful of projects at more than 20 agencies.

The new class was sworn in last week. Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel tweeted a picture of the ceremony:

(Image via Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com)