the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Seeking Gifted Data Geeks, Scientists, & Entrepreneurs to Serve as Presidential Innovation Fellows

Are you a talented data scientist or engineer? Or, a data geek, tech-savvy designer, or entrepreneur ready to lend your talents and expertise to help transform how government works for the people it serves? Then we want you to consider joining the ranks of the Presidential Innovation Fellows.
“Today I’m announcing that we’re making even more government data available, and we’re making it easier for people to find and to use.  And that’s going to help launch more start-ups.  It’s going to help launch more businesses… It’s going to help more entrepreneurs come up with products and services that we haven’t even imagined yet.” – President Obama, May 9, 2013
Freely-available, open government data is a valuable national resource driving innovation across the country—from entrepreneurs developing new apps, products, services, or companies to organizations spurring new insights and answers to pressing challenges. In fact, a recent report found that, in addition to catalyzing a variety of societal benefits, open data can generate more than $3 trillion a year in additional economic value.  
Open data is good for the American people, and good for American business. That’s why we are seeking a few talented individuals to serve their country on a tour of duty– as Presidential Innovation Fellows – to help us unleash government data so that it can be put to use in valuable ways that benefit the American people. 
Are you a talented data scientist or engineer? Or, a data geek, tech-savvy designer, or entrepreneur ready to lend your talents and expertise to help transform how government works for the people it serves? Then we want you to consider joining the ranks of the Presidential Innovation Fellows. We are currently accepting applications for the next round of the program, which pairs talented, diverse individuals from outside government with Federal innovators to implement game-changing projects. 
The program includes a range of “Data Innovation” projects that aim to accelerate and expand the Federal Government’s various initiatives that work to make data more accessible and useful for citizens, companies, and innovators, while continuing to ensure privacy and security. These efforts include both open data initiatives, which focus on the release of general data resources in computer-readable formats , and “MyData” projects focused on empowering Americans with secure and useful electronic access to their own personal data (e.g. “Blue Button” health data, “Green Button” energy data, IRS’s Get Transcript, and more). Both kinds of initiatives aim to boost entrepreneurship, innovation, and the creation of tools that help Americans find the right health care provider, identify the college that provides the best value for their money, save money on their electricity bills, keep their families safe by knowing which products have been recalled, and more.
We need an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to keep the momentum going around our open data and MyData efforts. If you are an innovator and want a big challenge with an opportunity to make a big impact, here’s your chance.  
Round 3 Presidential Innovation Fellows willhave the opportunity to tackle eight exciting Data Innovation projects involving the following agencies:
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working to make its vast weather, climate, and earth observation data holdings more easily available and usable in the cloud, to unleash the full potential of these resources, spur economic growth, and help entrepreneurs launch businesses.
  • The Census Bureau collects and produces a wealth of geospatial, demographic, and economic data resources, and is seeking to make its maps and geospatial information easier for the public to access and use.
  • The National Aeronautic and Space Administration is working to make its earth observation data open and machine-readable, and is working to make climate data easier for innovators to find and use to develop new climate resilience tools.
  • The U.S. Department of the Interior is working to make a wide variety of newly catalogued government data, including data about tourism and recreation opportunities on the Nation’s public lands and waters, easy for entrepreneurs and innovators to discover and use.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor, in support of the President’s Skills and Training Data Initiative and Safety Data Initiative, is working to make its job skills and safety information data resources more open, machine-readable, and useful for third parties innovators.
  • The Internal Revenue Service is introducing many new digital services for taxpayers, including making it easier to securely access their own tax account, make mobile payments, check their refund status, or conduct other transactions. The Agency continues to work with its many third party stakeholders to deliver better services in support of tax administration.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Defense, is partnering with the private sector to expand the Blue Button initiative aimed at empowering consumers with secure access to their own healthcare information—including prescription information, medical claims, and lab data—and is working to support the scaling of the effort across the healthcare and wellness industries.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy is working to accelerate the commercialization of National Laboratory-generated technologies, in part by making information about those technologies easier for the public to find and use.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Presidential Innovation Fellows program.


Nick Sinai is U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer             

Ryan Panchadsaram is Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer