White House, GSA welcome Round 3 Innovation Fellows

Amid more than 1,000 applications, the White House and the General Services Administration welcome 27 candidates to the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program.

Over the next 12 months, the third round of fellows will partner with agencies on specific “high-impact” projects, PIF Director Garren Givens and Deputy Chief Technology Officer Ryan Panchadsaram wrote in a blog post.

Six of the fellows will work at the Veterans Affairs Department on the 21st Century Veterans Experience. The project develops an online GI Bill Comparison Tool, allowing veterans and service members to calculate their benefits and learn about education and training programs.

Fifteen fellows will work on Data Innovation projects at various agencies. One example is the Blue Button initiative, which has been part of the PIF program since Round 1. Blue Button allows individuals to have electronic access to all of their health and insurance records.

“There are a number of new aspects to that initiative that we want to take on that can be really catalyzed by having some PIF presence in that program,” said Lena Trudeau, former associate commissioner for the Office of Strategic Innovations at GSA, in a March interview with Federal News Radio. Trudeau oversaw Round 2 of the PIF program.

The remaining six fellows will work on crowdsourcing initiatives at agencies such as the National Archives and Records Administration and the Energy Department.

The DoE fellow will expand on Round 2’s Lantern mobile app, which uses crowdsourcing to gather information about power outages and functioning gas stations during natural disasters.

The fellows will work alongside 18F and the newly created U.S. Digital Service.

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