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Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

APIs & Open Data - Panelist Bios

Government institutions are increasingly deciding to use and build open-source software. The White House digital strategy includes a directive to agencies to allow public access to data via APIs. For some institutions unaccustomed to open data and collaborative development, this is a massive cultural shift. However, collaborating on code with the general public via GitHub is quickly becoming a best practice that both improves the quality of customer services and connects the government with citizens. Yet some in the general public are calling for agencies to take much broader steps towards open government. Our panelists will discuss the future of open data in government and the directions tomorrow’s rapid changes in open-source government are heading.

Moderator

Gray Brooks, General Services Administration

Gray Brooks began his new media work in 2003 on the web team of Howard Dean's presidential campaign, with responsibilities including the management of Get Local, the groundbreaking social organizing tool that would evolve into the suites used by campaigns in 2008. With the launch of Barack Obama's presidential exploratory committee, he served as New Media Ombudsman, assisting the New Media Director in liaising amongst each New Media team and with other departments. After serving on the Presidential Transition Team, Brooks co-led the digital overhaul at the Federal Communications Commission, an effort that completely retooled the agency’s web presence. He now serves as Sr. API Strategist at the General Services Administration as part of the Administration’s implementation of the Digital Government Strategy.

 

Panelists

Corina DuBois (@CorinaDuBois), Chief, New Media Unit, Bureau of Consular Affairs U.S. Department of State

Corina DuBois directs new media outreach and GOV 3.0 initiatives for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. She influences the policy and strategic planning surrounding web products, social, mobile, apps, open data, and crisis communications. She regularly consults Consular sections at Embassies worldwide and leads a team of foreign and civil service professionals.

Corina's team focuses on innovative processes for online engagement across multiple web, social media, mobile and app platforms for both foreign and domestic audiences. The New Media Unit also manages the worldwide @TravelGov brand across several platforms. Corina acts as the lead for interagency collaboration with open data, social media, crowdmapping, and the use of innovative technology for crisis response. Corina is a U.S. Navy Veteran and GW Alumni from the Graduate School of Political Management.

Prasanna Lal Das (@prasannalaldas)Lead Program Officer, Office of the Controller, World Bank

Prasanna Lal Das leads the open financial data program (finances.worldbank.org) at the World Bank. He’s especially interested in the role of open financial data in promoting civic engagement and results, and the potential of open data to foster commercial growth and innovation. Prasanna and his team are also investigating the possibility of using big data for international development, especially to increase effectiveness. Prior to joining the Bank in 2003, Prasanna worked extensively in the private sector helping companies develop strategies to use information as a competitive business asset. He worked in a variety of sectors including information technology, media, education, and telecom.

Prasanna holds a Masters degree in Modern Indian History. You can follow him on Twitter at @prasannalaldas or read his Bank blog at blogs.worldbank.org/team/prasanna-lal-das

 

Mike Pulsifer, Technical Manager, Division of Enterprise Communications, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor

Mike Pulsifer has been a manager responsible for web and mobile application development, public-facing open source and certain open data initiatives for the Office of Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of Labor since 2004. Additional responsibilities include directing the citizen-facing mobile efforts at DOL and representing the department on many interagency workgroups, including mobile development, mobile UX, open source, and API management.

In 2011, he launched DOL's public API at http://developer.dol.gov, giving developers in the public easy access to DOL's open data datasets. The developer site has been one of the leading developer offerings in the federal government by including not just an API, but SDKs in eight programming languages, sample code, and other resources and tools to help developers of all skill levels access and use DOL's data. As of now, the API serves more than 200 datasets, with many more on the way. The eighth SDK, written in Swift, was released less than a month after the language was publicly announced.

 

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