Presidential Innovation Fellows now a permanent government fixture

The Presidential Innovation Fellows Program is now a permanent fixture in the federal government.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order Monday grouping the PIF program under the General Services Administration with an advisory board to oversee it.

PIF recruits private sector entrepreneurs, innovators, and technologists and pairs them with federal employees to improve programs across the government in need of serious tech overhauls.

The Obama administration said the program’s success is making the government more transparent by opening up data to the public.

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Since the program’s launch in 2012, PIF has placed 96 fellows across the government to work on projects like the Data.gov upgrades where agencies are encouraged to post data sets to the public, and openFDA, which houses application program interfaces for drug, device and food data.

“From now on, Presidential Innovation Fellows will be an integral part of our government,” Mr. Obama said in a White House video posted to YouTube announcing the executive order. “My hope is this continues to encourage a culture of public service among our innovators and tech entrepreneurs so that we can keep building a government that’s as modern and innovative—and as engaging—as our incredible tech sector is.”

PIF Fellows also helped start 18F — GSA’s expert tech team of private-sector recruits and feds, as well as the Office of Management and Budget’s U.S. Digital Services IT team.

The executive order was released the same day as the names of the next six fellows being inducted into the program. The new fellows will work on open data and digital government initiatives for the next year.

The new fellows are:

  • Adam Bonnifield — co-founder of the data platform Spinnakr
  • Ross Dakin— a member startups such as  Upstart Network and Deliv
  • Josh Patterson — a data scientist and economist for Accenture Technology Labs
  • Alexandra Pelletier — digital lead for the Innovation Acceleration Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
  • Luke Keller — character teaching tools developer at Character Lab
  • Kate McCall-Kiley  — digital designer for Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, and Design for America

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