Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Ignite Session - Speaker Bios

Corina DuBois (@CorinaDuBois): "Utilizing APIs for Mobile Diplomacy", 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.


Rob Baker (@rrbaker): "BRCK: Internet Access Built for Africa", Ushahidi

Rob currently leads development and communications teams for Ushahidi, having previously contributed as technical and project lead for dozens of crowdsourcing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Outside of Ushahidi, he's worked extensively with non-profits and in the government and financial sectors including consultant to the World Bank, a member of the US/Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission on New Media, and a White House Innovation Fellow implementing the open data policy for USAID.


Sam Washington (@wash124): "ShareAmerica Platform", IIP Digital Office. Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

Mr. Samuel Washington is currently responsible for identifying innovative technical ways for the Bureau to carry out its mission.  During his tenure here at State, he has led the Applications Team, ensuring that all former worldwide USIA custom developed applications successfully satisfied the certification and accreditation requirement, which was migrated from the former USIA network to OpenNet.  He managed the development and implementation of applications that support the Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy, Bureau of International Programs and the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Mr. Washington began his federal government career with the United States Information Agency in 1997. During his extensive career, Mr. Washington has served as a Project Manager, Division Chief and is now Senior Advisor for the IIP Digital Office.

Mr. Washington is retired from the District of Columbia Air National Guard.  During his tenure, he supported several overseas campaigns, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.


Sean McDonald (@McDapper): "FrontlineSMS", CEO, FrontlineSMS

Sean Martin McDonald is the CEO of FrontlineSMS. FrontlineSMS was named the #1 Technology NGO in 2013 by the Global Journal and is one of the world’s most popular professional messaging tools. Sean also founded the Capture the Ocean and the FrontlineSMS:Legal Projects. Sean leads product development, strategic vision, and business development for FrontlineSMS.

Sean has worked in and written about the connections between international development, data, technology, political communications, conflict resolution, and legal services for the last 10 years. He is a Trustee of the Awesome Foundation DC and an affiliate with Harvard University's Berkman Center. Sean is an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative, Digital Democracy,, ECPAT USA, the Law Without Walls Program, TechChange, and UNDP.

Sean is a lawyer, barred in New York. He holds a J.D. and an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Magazine Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park.


Eric Nelson (@eDipAtState): "State's Mobile Initiatives", U.S. Department of State

Eric Nelson is the Director of the Office of eDiplomacy. He previously served as Chargé d’Affaires (June - August 2013) and Deputy Chief of Mission (August 2010-June 2013) at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, which became a leader in promoting public private partherships and using new technologies and social media to expand shared prosperity, enhance citizen security, and advance sustainable "green" growth in Costa Rica. From 2006-2009, Mr. Nelson served as the U.S. Consul General in Munich, Germany. As Consul General, he worked to expand and strengthen partnerships between Bavaria and the United States, focusing on security cooperation, citizen diplomacy, and commercial ties. His leadership in the usage of new media technologies won honorable mention in 2009 from the State Department’s Innovation in the Use of Technology Award committee. Mr. Nelson also received the “IDIZEM Dialogue Prize 2008” in Munich in recognition of his engagement for inter-religious and intercultural dialogue.

Since joining the Foreign Service in 1990, Mr. Nelson has also served in Islamabad, Washington, D.C., Milan, Mexico City, Frankfurt and Santo Domingo. He has received the Department of State's Superior Honor Award three times and the Meritorious Honor Award seven times.

Mr. Nelson began his career in public service as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching math and science in Liberia, West Africa from 1984-1985. Before joining the Foreign Service, he was a marketing and finance consultant to U.S. Agency for International Development projects in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Liberia.

Mr. Nelson, a resident of Texas, graduated from Rice University of Houston, Texas, in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. In 1988, Mr. Nelson received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He is fluent in Spanish, German and Italian.

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