Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Ignite Sessions - Speaker Bios

During our Ignite Session, we will be offering the audience exposure to six diverse new ideas, concepts, and programs. These will be presented in a series of ignite sessions, which are highly engaging 5 minute presentations with 20 slides set to auto advance for every 15 seconds.

James Sanders (@jamestsanders): "Moonshots in Education" - U.S. Department of Education

James Sanders is a Presidential Innovation Fellow working on Open Data Initiatives at the Department of Education. Previously, James oversaw innovation at KIPP Bay Area Schools and managed the region’s blended learning and technology integration initiatives. In early 2013, James spearheaded the Google Play for Education pilot at KIPP Bridge Charter School, a partnership with Android. Before joining the KIPP Bay Area regional staff, James was a Teach for America Corps Member and a KIPP teacher in both Los Angeles and San Francisco and pioneered a paperless classroom run 100% online. In addition to his work at KIPP, James co-founded ClassBadges, a website that helps teachers shift to accomplishment-based grading. While teaching, James served as a project manager for YouTube EDU and his work for Google included YouTube Teachers, YouTube for Schools, and management of K-12 content curation.

Tiffany Attaway: "Gaming the System: Using Technology for Language Learning" - U.S. Department of State

Tiffany Taylor Attaway is the Online Learning Manager for the Department of State’s School of Language Studies (SLS), housed at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia. She is the Program Manager for the Distance Language Learning program, which offers over 60 courses in 15 foreign languages to members of the foreign affairs community. Ms. Attaway also provides technical consulting and expertise to SLS, manages the SLS Adobe Connect program, and is an SLS SharePoint Administrator. She is currently using her expertise in design and gaming to create the first mobile app for intermediate language learners for the Department of State.

A lifelong technologist and gamer, Ms. Attaway embarked on her technology career at age 6 when she began programming in BASIC on her first computer, a TRS-80. She has devoted her career to bridging the technology gap between “techies” and end-users. Over the past decade, she has designed and managed language learning programs for the Department of State, as a programmer, an instructional designer, an educational technologist, and a program manager. Prior to that, she coordinated the internet and publication presence for USAID’s Global Health bureau.

Ms. Attaway holds a Master’s of Education in Instructional Design and Development from George Mason University and a B.A in Post-Soviet International Relations from the University of Mary Washington. 

Taylor Corbett (@CSFData): "OpenEMIS" - Community Systems Foundation

Taylor Corbett is a monitoring and evaluation technologist with experience in econometric modeling and data visualization. As a Programme Advisor with the Community Systems Foundation (CSF) he leads project development in Washington, DC and conducts international trainings on the OpenEMIS, DevInfo, and di Monitoring platforms. While with CSF Taylor has led projects in partnership with UN Agencies and governments in Africa and Asia to improve data utilization for disaster planning, polio eradication, policymaking and public engagement. Prior to joining CSF Taylor worked with a broad range of organizations including UNFPA, BRAC, and the Grassroots Business Fund to refine monitoring methodologies and disseminate evaluation findings. He graduated with honors, summa cum laude, from Occidental College with degrees in both Diplomacy and World Affairs and Economics.


Bridget Roddy (@vsfsAtState) & Zack Haas: "The Virtual Student Foreign Service Program and the Diplomacy Lab" - U.S. Department of State

Bridget Roddy is the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) program manager at the U.S. Department of State. Previously, she worked in the Family Liaison Office and at the U.S. Embassies in Vienna and Ottawa. Growing up overseas in the Ivory Coast, the Netherlands, Austria, and Taiwan she now calls DC “home” and shares it with her deaf dog, Schatzie. Bridget studied graphic design and anthropology at the University of Notre Dame.

Zack Haas is a Foreign Affairs Officer and Pathways Intern in the Office of the Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies (SACSED), where he manages the pilot Diplomacy Lab program, spearheads the office’s education-related initiatives, and handles its foreign assistance funds. He is also pursuing a Master’s in International Affairs at the George Washington University, concentrating in Conflict Resolution. After graduating from Penn State in 2010 with degrees in International Politics, Spanish, and International Studies, he spent two years in Lumbisí, Ecuador organizing international volunteers to carry out local community development projects. He joined SACSED in April 2013.

Bern Terry (@BernTerry): "VGo Robotic Telepresence" - VGo

Bern Terry’s family moved from South Bend, Indiana to Paris France when he was 4 and he grew up speaking two languages.  He returned to the US to finish high school, and learned German and Spanish in College.  After teaching English and French at Berlitz in the late 70’s, Bern worked internationally for Superior Brands/Nestlé.   In 1990, Bern joined Lifeline Systems (now Philips Lifeline) where he worked on joint ventures with AT&T and Bell Atlantic (now Verizon).  During his 15 years at Lifeline Bern was responsible for training and professional development of 100 clinical outreach specialists and for continuing education and training for Lifeline customers at 800 hospitals, and he established a national partnership with the American Red Cross which is still in operation.

Bern now works at VGo where he leads market development with a focus on Healthcare, Education and Research.  He serves on the Advisory Council of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont where he teaches conversational French.  Bern holds a BA in Economics from Middlebury College.  During the summer, he and his wife Katie teach therapeutic horseback riding to children and young adults with disabilities special healthcare needs.

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