Who’s on the “Tour of Duty” of Government Innovation?

Answer: Badass Innovators.

On Monday, the White House published the list of the second round of Presidential Innovation Fellows. The 43 fellows include multitalented engineers, entrepreneurs, computer scientists and designers, all tasked with developing solutions to improve lives, save tax dollars and create jobs. These “badass innovators,” as described by federal CTO, Todd Park, will serve 6 to 12-month “tours of duty” to apply their expertise gained from the private sector, non-profits, and academia in remaking government.

Impressive Resumes

In reading a few of the profiles of the fellows, the common trend, of course, is the insane level of accomplishment and diversity among this cohort. Nearly all of the fellows have founded a start-up, initiative or software tool, and a few profiles highlight experiences as a venture capital partner, university professor, and former Air Force Officer. When these individuals aren’t innovating, they’re playing the ukulele, performing improvisational comedy or winning US Army Gaming Championships in Xbox 360 Command & Conquer.

10 Innovative Projects

The fellows will launch five new projects and continue the five existing projects started by the first class of innovation fellows. These projects aim to solve challenges of national importance, including expanding government transparency, simplifying access to government services, and scaling international development initiatives.

To give you a taste of a project, the fellows working on disaster response and recovery will build tools to gather and disseminate real-time information during an emergency event. They’ll then roll out the tools and train disaster response personnel on how to use them.

My Side Story – It’s a Small World!

Last week, I attended an alumni event at the National Building Museum in DC and started up a conversation with a friendly guy who had just started a gig at the White House. Lo and behold, he’s the second fellow profiled on PIF website. Go Stanford!

Want to learn more about government innovation?

Learn more about the fellows and their projects.

Last week, we had the pleasure of hearing from PIF alum, Ben Balter, who presented his work on a web project that saved the government $300 million. Read more here.

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