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Inside the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program

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The logo of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program

The Presidential Innovation Fellows program was created to accelerate problem-solving by bringing in people who can offer a fresh perspective.


In an interview, the White House Office of Science and Technology's Jennifer Pahlka discusses the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which she helps oversee.

She says the program was established to accelerate problem-solving from years to months by bringing in people who could offer a fresh perspective, and fellows are diverse in terms of background, age, and expertise.

"A Presidential Innovation Fellow is someone who wants to serve his or her country and has the skills that we need to bring government along to be truly a 21st century government," Pahlka notes.

She says both public- and private-sector veterans fill out the ranks of fellows, although there are generally more fellows from the private sector.

Among the many successful projects stemming from the program that Pahlka cites is the Blue Button Initiative, which provides U.S. citizens with secure, electronic access to their own health information.

Meanwhile, she says the followup Green Button Initiative provides electric utility customers with simple, secure access to their energy consumption information.

Pahlka points out that many of the program's initiatives benefit the public after they make an impact within government.

From Federal News Radio
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