Here's a quick tour of a few products I've shipped, and programs I've built:
U.S. Open Data Policy & Executive Order
From GPS to the weather app on your smart phone, open government data powers much more than we realize. To catalyze innovation and liberate data across government, President Obama issued the first-ever U.S. Open Data Policy, requiring that all federal data be “open by default.”
“A historic step in making government more open and accessible to the people, just as the Founders intended. As tech entrepreneurs improve our lives through transformative innovations, open government data will be an important tool in their success.”
– Ron Conway
“This kind of innovation and ingenuity has the potential to transform the way we do almost everything.”
– President Barack Obama
Project Open Data
New technologies are constantly changing, but government policies often remain stagnant for decades at a time. With the rapid pace of innovation, experts in emerging tech fields often don’t have easy access to Washington’s policy processes. Project Open Data—launched in coordination with the U.S. Open Data Policy—is the first-ever attempt to apply open source development principles to a U.S. government policy process, helping give the geeks a seat at the table.
– Wired Magazine
Presidential Innovation Fellows Program
The Presidential Innovation Fellows program brings bad-ass innovators from the private sector for short tours of duty inside government to help solve our countries most pressing challenges. Fellows apply their elite tech chops to develop solutions that improve lives, save taxpayer money, and fuel job creation.
“Considering how often the federal government is depicted as a huge, bloated, incomprehensible bureaucracy, it’s always refreshing when it does something forward-thinking.”
– David Pogue, New York Times
The Digital Government Strategy
Obama is the first U.S. President to use a mobile device (and e-mail)…ever. The world has evolved rapidly with the explosion of mobile devices and the power of computing in your pocket, and Government has struggled to keep up. Obama issued the Digital Government Strategy to usher in the mobile revolution and accelerate the delivery of government services to Americans—when they need them, where they need them—through an “API-first” mobile strategy.
“A good day is when government adopts policies and practices that will not only make more data available, but will drive efficient use of resources, sensible strategies for communicating with the public, and lay the foundation for increased innovation in public sector technology. Today is a good day.”
– Jen Pahlka, Code for America
In 2011, one of the most devastating famines in recent history swept through the Horn of Africa, risking 13.3 million lives. To connect those who wanted to help with the tools to do so, USAID launched The FWD campaign—the first public engagement campaign in USAID history. FWD—which stands for Famine War and Drought, and a call to action—leveraged novel digital engagement techniques and distributed user generated content strategies to raise awareness and funds for the famine in the Horn of Africa while building out repeatable, reusable engagement platforms for future crises. In one online day of action, FWD reached over 117 million people—the most American’s ever reached at one time by USAID.
“[S]ignificantly evolved for any government agency, and will serve as a worthy bar for other efforts in the future to meet.”
– Alex Howard, O'Reilly Media
Reimagining The Federal Communications Commission
In the beginning of the Obama Administration, the Federal Communications Commission—despite “communication” being its middle name—was still sporting a website from the 1990s, had never used a blog or social media, and had a “public commenting system” built for lawyers instead of regular humans that asked for a docket number (whatever that is) before you could even submit your comment. Here’s some things we built to help change that:
Redesigned FCC.gov: The full re-build of FCC.gov employed innovative API solutions to create dynamic content filtering and was the first open source, cloud- hosted website from the agency. The effort included a full re-branding of all agency assets including the official logo.
Online Rulemaking: Democratized online commenting through innovative online citizen engagement tools, crowdsourcing platforms and social media. The Open Internet ruling was the first time in the history of the US government that a proceeding accepted official, on-the-record public comments from social media.
For Developers: Created the first site for developers in the US government at FCC.gov/Developer which included new APIs, open sourced code repositories, and ways to help.
Mobile: Developed a suite of mobile applications including the Broadband Speed Test App, The FCC App, and mobile commenting for OpenInternet.gov and net neutrality proceedings.
Spectrum Dashboard: The Spectrum Dashboard enabled citizens to find out how spectrum is being used, who owns spectrum licenses around the country, and what spectrum is available by county.
Social Media: Grew the 3rd largest twitter following in the Federal government from 0 to over 450,000 followers.
Websites: Launched 6 high profile government website and 3 internal sites for employee engagement and collaboration including Broadband.gov, OpenInternet.gov, Reboot.FCC.gov, and more.
"The most forward of the Obama Administration agencies to grasp Web 2.0."
– Ceclia Kang, The Washington Post
Obama for America
Text VOTE to 62262
The 2008 Obama Campaign was the first presidential campaign to use mobile technology to give voters across the country a personal and unprecedented connection to the campaign. Our nation-wide text messaging platform turned supporters into volunteers, cell phones into fundraising engines, and broadcast political communications into interactive two-way conversation.
Our suite of mobile tools included a nation-wide text messaging platform that enabled state organizers to better reach their communities, mobile applications to keep voters up to date on campaign events and place calls to their friends in critical swing states, and IVR tools to fight voter fraud on election day.
Politics can often be an insular echo chamber that leaves huge segments of our country feeling disenfranchised and not connected to important issues facing our country. To reach constituents who typically weren’t interested in voting, we developed integrated online to offline strategies to inform our field approach and bring the conversation to the them—in their bars, bookshops, coffee stores and communities.