Wanted: A Few Good Women and Men to Serve as Presidential Innovation Fellows

This has got to be one of the coolest initiatives of the Obama Administration! They just launched a new Presidential Innovation Fellows program. This new initiative will bring top innovators from outside government for focused “tours of duty” with our best federal innovators on game-changing projects. Combining the know-how of citizen change agents and government change agents in small, agile teams that move at high speed, these projects aim to deliver significant results within six months.

They are kicking off the program with five projects that seek to save taxpayers money, fuel job creation, and improve the return government is delivering to the American people:

  1. The Open Data Initiatives Program: This program aims to stimulate a rising tide of entrepreneurship that uses data from governmental and non-governmental sources to create tools that can help Americans better navigate their world, such as by finding the right health care provider, identifying the college that provides the best value for their money, saving money on electricity bills through smarter energy shopping, keeping their families safe by knowing which products have been recalled, and much more.
  2. Blue Button for America: This initiative will seek to expand nationwide adoption of Blue Button, a capability that enables consumers to securely download electronic copies of their own health information.
  3. MyGov: This project will reimagine the relationship between the Federal Government and citizens by rapidly prototyping a streamlined, intuitive online system that Americans can use to easily access the right information and services for them from across the U.S. Government and also provide feedback about their interactive experience.
  4. RFP-EZ: This project will develop a process and a platform that makes it easier for the Federal Government to procure innovative technology solutions from small, high-growth companies.
  5. The 20% Campaign: This USAID-led initiative seeks to create a system that enables US Government programs to seamlessly move away from making cash payments to support foreign policy, development assistance, government operations, or commercial activities and transition to using electronic payment mechanisms such as mobile devices, smart cards, and other methods.

The White House is looking for about 15 amazing innovators who are interested in coming to Washington, DC, for 6- to 12-month Fellowships, beginning in July, to work on these projects. See all the details at


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Andy Lowenthal

What an awesome opportunity! This is exactly the kind of creative talent sourcing that makes sense to tackle far-reaching, high-stakes government projects.

Thanks for posting, Terry.


I saw a tweet saying they already have 600+ applications.

Which just shows that we can get great people to apply to work for govt in various formats (fellowships, FTE, etc). Key is making it clear, simple, and marketing/promoting it (they did awesome job of this announcing it at TechCrunch Disrupt!)