Mobile Empowering U.S. Diplomacy - Panelist Bios
Technology is rapidly expanding the tools available to U.S. diplomats abroad, especially in the mobile realm. This has vast implications in a number of areas, from public diplomacy to monitoring of crisis and conflict zones. However, the gains from expanded mobile use have not yet been fully realized by the Department of State. This panel will highlight innovative mobile strategies that U.S. diplomacy can use to advance American interests abroad.
Darrell West (@DarrWest), Vice President of Governance Studies and Director of Center for Technology Innovation, The Brookings Institution
Darrell M. West is the Vice President of Governance Studies and Director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. He holds the Douglas Dillon Chair in Governance Studies. Previously, he was the John Hazen White Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University. His current research focuses on technology policy, health care, and education.
West is the author of 20 books including Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust (Brookings, 2014), Digital Schools (Brookings, 2012), The Next Wave: Using Digital Technology to Further Social and Political Innovation (Brookings, 2011), Brain Gain: Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy (Brookings, 2010), Digital Medicine: Health Care in the Internet Era (Brookings, 2009), Digital Government: Technology and Public Sector Performance, (Princeton University Press, 2005), and Air Wars: Television Advertising in Election Campaigns (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2005), among others.
He is the winner of the American Political Science Association’s Don K. Price award for best book on technology (for Digital Government) and the American Political Science Association’s Doris Graber award for best book on political communications (for Cross Talk). He has delivered nearly 150 lectures in a dozen different countries, including China, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, Bahrain, and the United States, and has been quoted in leading newspapers, radio stations, and national television networks around the world.
Rob Baker (@rrbaker), 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.
Kevin Barta (@Kevin_Barta), Program Officer – EducationUSA, Department of State
Kevin Barta is a Program Officer at the U.S. Department of State. Kevin oversees the EducationUSA network’s worldwide innovation, technology and design portfolios. Kevin has 11 years of experience in the field of international education. Most recently, Kevin worked at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN. He also has previous experience working for EducationUSA, the University of Melbourne (Australia), and the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh.
Kevin holds a Masters in International Politics from the University of Melbourne as well as a B.A. in International Studies/ History from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh.
Peter Redmond, Senior Advisor for Global Operations, Peace Corps
Peter Redmond is Senior Advisor for Global Operations at Peace Corps whose portfolio includes change management, strategic planning, and policy development. He previously served as the Deputy Associate Director for Global Operations where he managed six offices, a $240 million annual budget and 2400 staff in 77 Peace Corps countries.
Peter is a seasoned community and international development practitioner with in-depth knowledge of Peace Corps field and Washington operations. He has worked in international and community development for more than 20 years and has managed programs in leadership development, conflict resolution, environmental conservation, public health, water sanitation, and economic development. Most recently he has worked closely with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet to develop a Peace Corps for the 21st century, including technology solutions for staff and volunteers.
From 2002-09, Peter led Peace Corps’ highly regarded program in Panama where he was recognized for leading innovation in programming, training, volunteer support and leadership development. During his tenure doubled the size of the program and established three new projects, including Peace Corps Response. In 2009, Peter returned to Washington to direct the leadership development and training of new Country Directors. He first served with Peace Corps as a volunteer in Honduras from 1990-92.
Peter has also worked ten years protecting public health and the environment with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in various policy, program and senior management positions. At the EPA he ran the agency’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. He also served as Resident Representative for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) to promote free and fair elections in Nicaragua and Bangladesh during pivotal democratic transitions.
Peter is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School where he was a Public Service Fellow and earned a Master in Public Administration. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester. Peter was recently honored with Peace Corps’ highest employees performance award, the Distinguished Service Award, for being at the forefront of leading and managing change within the agency. He and his wife Melissa Estok (RPCV Honduras) are the proud parents of three adventurous, service-oriented, and social media-savvy teenagers.
Joshua Haynes (@joshuahaynes), Senior Advisor, Civil Society + Media Innovation, USAID
Joshua Haynes is a Senior Development Technologist + Media Adviser in the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DCHA/DRG) focusing on the nexus of technology (the good and the bad), media, civil society, and internet freedom. Previously, he worked in the private sector on analytics and technology consulting across Europe, as well as on international development-focused ICT projects in Sub-Saharan and North Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and South Asia, in the areas of media, new media, civil society, political stability, democracy, mobile apps, the mobile gender gap, and financial inclusion. Joshua received degrees from Boston University and The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and speaks a number of languages including Arabic (Modern Standard and Maghrebi), French, German, and Spanish