The Tech Talent Project is nonpartisan, nonprofit project dedicated to increasing the ability of the U.S. government to recruit modern technical leaders in order to achieve critical economic, policy, and human outcomes. It was founded in 2017 by former technology leaders from the Obama and Trump White Houses.
Jennifer was a founding member of U.S. Digital Service at the White House and served as Head of People from 2014 until 2017, increasing the team from three to over 200 and created a diverse, cross-functional pipeline of digital talent from around America into our federal government. She focuses on bringing together talent, innovation, and social change and loves building awesome teams.
She served as founding CEO of Fuse Corps and prior to starting Fuse Corps, Jennifer founded a few social enterprises focused on bringing technical and operational skills to the public sector, served as a consultant on the Higher Education Committee of the California State Assembly, and was a proud 6th grade teacher.
Lizeth is a fourth year at UC Berkeley pursuing a degree in Global Studies with an emphasis on Peace and Conflict Studies and Latin America. Her career aspirations are in the sector of education, restorative justice, NGO work and marketing. While at UC Berkeley, she is pursuing a minor in Korean language and culture, while maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle through constant workout. I aspire to travel more after graduation to learn about new cultures and languages while having the opportunity to visit the wonders of nature.
John serves as an advisor to the Walton Family Foundation and is a visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously served in the White House where he led the reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program and coordinated the emergency programs established during the 2008 credit crisis to stabilize $200 billion of student loans. He also served as the Deputy Policy Director to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Director of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. In 2009 he co-founded the strategic advisory firm Whiteboard Advisors working with investors, entrepreneurs, and philanthropies. John also worked with Governor Tom Ridge in a CIO function for a $7 billion agency and supported economic development policies along with several trade missions.
John is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network and an alumnus of the American Council on Germany Young Leaders Program. He serves on advisory boards for the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work, the George W. Bush Institute, TechStars, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.
Chris is a first-year master’s student, pursuing a degree in International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University. A DC native, he returned to the area after spending six years managing software development projects in the HealthCare IT industry for Epic Systems. His work in this field covered high-impact and evolving areas such as privacy and data portability, leading him to develop an appreciation of the need for technical expertise in the policy-making process. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Psychology, and enjoys boxing, cooking, and reading in his spare time.
Don spent the past five years in Washington, D.C. focused on improving operational efficiencies in the Executive Branch and on Capitol Hill. Most recently, Don served as the Assistant Director of Scheduling and Advance for the Department of the Treasury. During his time at Treasury, Don supported Secretary Mnuchin through numerous domestic trips and over a dozen international trips, including the 2018 and 2019 G-20 Summits in Argentina and Japan. In addition, Don spent time working to improve the operational processes across the department, putting an emphasis on collaboration between senior political appointees as well as career public servants.
Previously, Don was a senior staff member for U.S. House of Representatives Member, Tom Reed (NY-23). He graduated from the University of Scranton.
Garrett Johnson is a co-founder and executive director of the Lincoln Network. He also co-founded SendHub.com, a venture-backed-YCombinator startup launched in 2011. He served as professional staff to the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where oversight portfolio included Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Haiti.
Originally from Florida, Garrett earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He also read for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, England as a Rhodes Scholar. Garrett currently lives in San Jose, CA.
Tom Kalil is Chief Innovation Officer at Schmidt Futures. In this role, Tom leads initiatives to harness technology for societal challenges, improve science policy, and identify and pursue 21st century moonshots.
Prior to Schmidt Futures, Tom served in the White House for two Presidents (Obama and Clinton), helping to design and launch national science and technology initiatives in areas such as nanotechnology, the BRAIN initiative, data science, materials by design, robotics, commercial space, high-speed networks, access to capital for startups, high-skill immigration, STEM education, learning technology, startup ecosystems, and the federal use of incentive prizes.
Kirthi is a freshman at UC Berkeley in the Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology program on the EECS plus Business track. She is particularly interested in robotics and artificial intelligence. In high school, she pursued research on novel applications of drone technology, artificial intelligence, and mathematical modeling. She also founded an award-winning national non-profit organization, SheSoft, to create a sustainable network of girls and women in technology. Growing up in the DC area, Kirthi has noticed the increasingly important role of technology in government, and she hopes to continue to apply her knowledge to the civic tech space in college and beyond.
Cass is an experienced public servant whose expertise sits at the intersection of technology, operations, and policy. She has spent the past 15 years helping to ensure that big ideas get implemented in a way that drives innovation, improves the lives of those accessing services, and builds a positive culture in the workplace.
Most recently, Cass served as an appointee of Vermont Governor Phil Scott. As Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) she focused on strengthening operational performance and improving success in the delivery of large scale information technology (IT) projects.
Michelle is currently a junior at UC Berkeley studying Political Science and minoring in Data Science. She is passionate about government workings and focuses on the connection between the possibilities of tech and the U.S. government. Michelle has an interest in comparative politics and has worked as a researcher under a UC Berkeley professor. She has also interned with California State Senator Scott Wiener where she learned about the need for greater efficiency and equity that must happen in government.
Josh Marcuse is the head of strategy and Innovation for Global Public Sector at Google Cloud. He leads a team of public sector digital transformation experts who work to solve real-world problems in public health, smart cities, cyber defense, and more for governments around the world. Previously, Josh served as executive director of the Defense Innovation Board, a group of distinguished leaders focused on bringing technological and cultural innovations of Silicon Valley to the Department of Defense (DoD). Josh served as the innovation advisor to the DoD CTO and also held roles in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Policy, Personnel & Readiness, and the Chief Management Officer. Prior to DoD, Josh worked at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Josh is active in several nonprofit organizations outside of Google, including serving as an advisor or board member to Schmidt Futures, Tech Talent Project, Silicon Valley Defense Group, Globally, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, and the Federal Innovator Network at the Partnership for Public Service. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project.
Grace is a well-rounded talent professional with a passion for building highly skilled diverse teams and a knack for designing and implementing hiring processes from the ground up. As an advocate for equitable workplaces, Grace brings a strong diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) background to the Tech Talent Project with a particular focus on effective ways to recruit talented individuals with a private background into the civic tech community.
Most recently, she was the Head of Talent at CivicActions, a firm that strives to transform the way governments procure, develop, and deliver digital services. Prior to that, she served as the Lead of Talent Operations at the US Digital Service, ensuring that their key projects received the right candidates and building a cohort of passionate civil servants.
Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and former executive director of Code for America. She served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2013–2014, where she founded the United States Digital Service. She received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and was named by Wired as one of the 25 people who has most shaped the past 25 years. She serves on the Defense Innovation Board and the board of the Tech Talent Project. She holds fellowships with Ashoka, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the Volcker Alliance. Jennifer is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, California with her daughter, husband, and six chickens.
Ryan Panchadsaram joined Kleiner Perkins in 2016 and was previously the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer. He is also a Co-Founder of the United States Digital Response.
Todd Park is co-founder and Executive Chairman of Devoted Health. Prior to Devoted Health, Todd served as White House Technology Advisor based in Silicon Valley until January 2017, a role in which he focused on bringing top technology talent and best practices into government to improve service delivery, national defense, public engagement, and more. Prior to this role, Todd served from March 2012 to August 2014 as U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. From August 2009 to March 2012, Todd served as Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For his work at HHS, Todd was named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” in 2010.
Dan is Managing Partner and Co founder at Sweat Equity Ventures. Prior to SEV, Dan spent 7 years as an Operating Partner at Greylock. His work led to 17 venture investments. He also helped to scale dozens of portfolio companies. Prior to Greylock he held executive roles at Rypple (acquired by Salesforce in 2012) and Mozilla. He advises a number of companies and helped create the talent organization for US Digital Service. Earlier in his career Dan spent a decade building out successful early-stage, venture-backed consumer and enterprise companies.
Michael joined the Tech Talent Project in September 2021. Beforehand, he worked as a patient services manager at a healthcare startup, Blink Health, spearheading efforts to harness patient interaction data to more efficiently deliver prescription drug discounts to uninsured Americans. He also worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative intern for Congressman Adriano Espaillat. There he conducted research and drafted reports on various issues, especially U.S. foreign affairs in East Africa, the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific, as well as the critical immigration crisis in 2018 concerning the Trump Administration’s border separation policy.
He is a graduate from New York University where he obtained a Master’s in Political Science, concentrating in American political parties and the effects of populism on global democratic institutions.
Stephanie joined the Tech Talent Project in March of 2021. An immunology research scientist by training, Stephanie brings a data and analytics approach to STEM workforce equity and development and policy influence. Stephanie served as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation from 2015-17, advancing the federal CSforAll initiative at the agency, and then took that focus to the Afterschool Alliance as STEM Policy Director, ensuring access to STEM engagement in the out of school space. Most recently, Stephanie was VP of Policy and Programs at AnitaB.org, a global nonprofit advancing women technologists into positions of power and host to the largest convening of technical women in the world, the Grace Hopper Celebration. In this role, Stephanie developed and led the workforce equity policy portfolio, managing Hill and Executive relationships around issues including but not limited to government hiring of diverse technical talent.
As the founding president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, Max has overseen the creation and growth of a network connecting more than 1,000 colleges and universities with 80 federal agencies; a center focusing on the presidential transition; an awards program that recognizes exceptional civil servants for their extraordinary accomplishments; annual rankings that examine employee engagement; numerous leadership development programs; and more.
Before coming to the Partnership he worked in each of the three branches of the federal government. Max’s favorite fed is Teddy Roosevelt who, along with his many other accomplishments, is the father of the civil service.
Rachel Williams is a Bay Area native with more than 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley. Her experience spans human resources – recruiting, strategic employee relations and engagement, organizational change, culture & learning development, inclusion programming and implementation. Rachel is currently the Head of Equity Inclusion & Diversity Talent Acquisition for X – the moonshot factory. X creates novel technology solutions to address the world’s most challenging problems.
In addition to her roles within various corporations, Rachel lends her time to advise organizations dedicated to the improvement of diversity, equity and inclusion. Rachel has spoken on her work and thought leadership at numerous conferences and universities and graduated from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!).
Lindsay joined the Tech Talent Project in December of 2018. Prior to that, she ran operations and recruiting coordination at a Bay Area recruiting firm, Pac Heights Partners. However, Lindsay also has an extensive background as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, working mostly in Health and Human Services programs and at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. She has seen first hand how technology affects human lives, which is the reason she is passionate about the Tech Talent mission. She continues to work part-time as a social worker with older adults and people with disabilities at an Adult Day Health Center in Half Moon Bay.
Nicole Wong specializes in assisting high-growth technology companies to develop international privacy, content, and regulatory strategies. She previously served as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration, focused on internet, privacy, and innovation policy. Prior to her time in government, Nicole was Google’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, and Twitter’s Legal Director for Products. She frequently speaks on issues related to law and technology, including five appearances before the U.S. Congress. Nicole chairs the board of Friends of Global Voices, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting citizen and online media projects globally. She also sits on the boards of the Filecoin Foundation, an independent organization that stewards the growth of Filecoin and related technologies for a decentralized web; the Mozilla Foundation, which promotes the open internet; and The Markup, a non-profit investigative news organization covering technology. She currently serves as co-chair of the Digital Freedom Forum, and as an an advisor to the AI Now Institute, the Albright Stonebridge Group, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, Luminate, Refactor Capital, and WITNESS.
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