Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

These are some of the great speakers that will be at the upcoming Tech@State:Serious Games.

Saad Khan

Saad KhanSaad Khan is a partner at CMEA Capital and leads their digital media and Web efforts. This includes seed and early stage investments in crowdsourcing companies Pixazza, Blekko, and LiveOps as well as Jobvite and Evolution Robotics. Prior to CMEA, Saad was a Venture Partner at where he helped build Silicon Valley’s first startup incubator.

Erin Mote

Erin MoteDr. Erin Mote is with NetHope, as Chief of Party of the USAID-sponsored Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance, and is charged with driving connectivity, mobile solutions and innovation throughout USAID’s global development portfolio. Mote earlier served in senior positions with CHF International and the Coulter Companies after starting her career in her native Arizona as the Director of External and Strategic Relations for Arizona State University. She is also an advisor to the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Clinton Foundation and the Business Center for Civic Leadership at the US Chamber.

Asi Burak

Asi BurakAsi Burak is a veteran game-maker, tech executive and social entrepreneur. As Co-President of Games for Change, he leads on the curation, development and execution of programs and services to raise the quality and influence of games for social change. He serves as a spokesperson for the organization and the sector. He is the award-winning Executive Producer who co-founded Impact Games, the creators of the internationally acclaimed “PeaceMaker” and “Play the News” gaming platforms More

Ronald Cole

Ronald ColeRonald Cole is a senior program officer Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding at the US Institute for Peace. He joined USIP in 2006 as an instructional technologist. Cole has extensive experience in the field of simulation, both in content and technology. Cole was a nuclear reactor operator in the U.S. Navy, has worked for a number of private-sector firms (including Arthur Andersen) and has teaching experience. More

Nicholas Martin

Nicholas MartinNicholas Martin is the co-founder and president of TechChange: The Institute for Technology and Social Change. He is an educator, technologist, and social entrepreneur with significant international peacebuilding and development expertise. Nick is an adjunct faculty member at American University, George Mason University, George Washington University and the United Nations University for Peace, and has given a number of guest lectures and speeches on the role of technology in peacebuilding, development and humanitarian work. More

Jennifer McNamara

Jennifer McNamaraJennifer McNamara is Vice President of Serious Games and Government Programs at BreakAway, Ltd. where she leads a team creating game-based solutions that meet customers’ goals throughout the defense, homeland security, medical and corporate training communities. She she strives to help customers understand games’ value while advancing the state of the serious games industry. McNamara serves as a Member of the Education Subcommittee for I/ITSEC, as a member of the technology and standards subcommittee for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, as an advisor for MODSIM World, and Member of the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge IPT. More

Steve York

Steve YorkSteve York is a Multimedia producer who began his career working on prime-time PBS documentaries with the Bill Moyers Journal series in 1978. Since then he has directed crews in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, creating award-winning films on World War II, religious fundamentalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, American economic competitiveness, the history and culture of Islam, and the U.S. Supreme Court. His three most recent films, A Force More Powerful, Bringing Down A Dictator, and Orange Revolution have been translated into over a dozen languages and exposed a generation of viewers worldwide to the how’s and why’s of successful nonviolent movements. York served as Executive Producer on two video simulation games, A Force More Powerful: the Game of Nonviolent Conflict (2006) and People Power: the Game of Civil Resistance (2010), both offshoots of his films. More

Naomi Clark

Naomi Clark has been designing and producing digital games and virtual worlds for nearly 20 years, starting by designing early virtual worlds as a teenager. She has grown and managed many online communities, from message boards for youth groups to the vibrant community surrounding one of the first multiplayer web games, Sissyfight 2000. In the last decade, Clark has worked as a producer, game designer and creative director at studios such as Gamelab, Blue Fang, and Fresh Planet. These projects included downloadable games such as Egg vs. Chicken and Miss Management; web games such as Josefina's Market Day for American Girl; Facebook games like Zoo Kingdom and The Specialists; and large community projects such as Gamestar Mechanic, a website where kids create and share their own games. More

Heather Chaplin

Heather ChaplinHeather Chaplin is the author of Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution. She has been covering games since 2001 for publications like The New York Times, GQ, Details, and The L.A. Times. She's currently a regular contributor on the subject for All Things Considered. In addition to her journalism she's acted as adviser to entities like The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and ITVS. Chaplin is also an assistant professor of journalism at The New School.

Jude Ower

Jude OwerJude Ower is an orignal thought leader on purposeful games and has created games for learning and training for 10 years, working with corporate, government and educational organizations. Ower founded Play Mob in 2007 and today is working with her team to create social games for social good, targeting mass audiences about global topics in an informal learning setting, and creating the capability to link in-game actions to real world causes. 

Richard Culatta

Richard CulattaRichard Culatta is a leader in the field of educational innovation and an advocate for using games for learning.  In his former role with the Central Intelligence Agency, he led the development of a large-scale collaborative learning platform to extend training opportunities to CIA officers worldwide. Culatta has worked on projects with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to increase access to open educational resources.  Culatta was previously a learning technologies adviser at Brigham Young University and the Director of Operations for the Rose Education Foundation. He is currently serving as an Education Fellow in the US Senate and as the Chief Impatience Officer at ThirdRail Games. More

Lien Tran

Lien TranLien Tran is an interaction designer whose work centers around humanitarian and participatory design. She is a MFA candidate in Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design. Lien also holds a BBA with a concentration in Information Technology from The College of William and Mary. She previously worked at Accenture as a business consultant on government and commercial projects. Lien's design work includes games, physical interactions, design advocacy, and web- and print-based information design. Partnerships include Open Society Foundations (OSF) as a Public Health Information Design Fellow and the U.N. Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) through Parsons Humanitarian Design Lab (HDL). Lien recently joined PETLab's Activate! team to teach game design through environmental topics in Abu Dhabi this summer. She is also a member of dataPlayed, a game design collective. More

Nicole Lazzaro

Nicole LazzaroNicole Lazzaro is the founder (in 1992) and president of XEODesign, Inc., and has 20 years expertise in player experience design for mass-market entertainment products. Widely recognized as one of the top women working in video games and a pioneering, leading figure in social games, Lazzaro has been cited by Wired, Fast Company, ABC News, CNN, CNET, The Hollywood Reporter, and Red Herring. She has worked with EA, Ubisoft, D.I.C.E., Lucas Arts, Disney, PlayFirst, The Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon on such popular franchises as three of the Myst series, Diner Dash, Fusion Fall, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Jeopardy Online, as well as creativity coaching for the designers of The Sims. More

Konstantin Mitgutsch

Konstantin MitgutschKonstantin Mitgutsch is researcher in the field of education science, game studies, learning theories, serious games and applied humanities. At present he is working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as a visiting professor at the University of Vienna. His research focuses on learning processes in computer games and in particular on the role of learning trough failure and transformative learning in games. Mitgutsch is participating as an expert member for the Austrian Federal Office for the Positive Assessment of Computer and Console Games and is on the expert council of the Pan European Game Information (PEGI). Since 2007 he organizes the annual Vienna Games Conference FROG. More

Dan Norton

Dan NortonDan Norton is a founding partner and creative director at Filament Games. He specializes in crafting educational game design documents and storyboards that originate from learning objectives. He is proud to have designed games about a uniquely broad range of topics, ranging from marine turtle ecology to legal argumentation. His games have won multiple awards, including the National STEM Video Game Challenge Developer Prize and the 2010 CODiE for Best Educational Game or Simulation. More

Dr. Chris Hoadley

Dr. Chris HoadleyDr. Chris Hoadley is an associate professor of Educational Communication and Technology at New York University, where he directs the dolcelab, the lab for the design of learning, collaboration, and experience. He designs, builds, and studies ways for technology to enhance human empowerment and sustainability through collaboration and learning. Hoadley is past president of the International Society of the Learning Sciences and studied cross-cultural sustainability education in rural Himalayan villages in India and Nepal as a Fulbright scholar in 2008-2009. He currently collaborates with to research educational video games for developing countries for $10 8-bit computer platforms. More

Mallika Dutt

Mallika DuttMallika Dutt is the President and CEO of Breakthrough, a global human rights organization that uses the power of media, pop culture and community mobilization to inspire people to take action. Prior to founding Breakthrough,  Dutt served as program officer for human rights at the Ford Foundation's New Delhi Office and as the associate director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University. Dutt is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and currently serves on the Boards of WITNESS, the Open Society Institute US Programs, and Games for Change, and on the Rights Working Group Steering Committee. More

Ali Reza Manouchehri

Ali Reza ManouchehriAli Reza Manouchehri is the CEO of MetroStar Systems, one of the country’s fastest growing technology companies, which he founded in 1999. A native of Virginia, Mr. Manouchehri moved to Iran in the early 1990s to complete his high school education and gain a fresh perspective on culture and communication. He spent the next two years selling textile products in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar before relocating back to the U.S. Manouchehri then explored how Web programming can be automated, which led to the formation of MetroStar. Manouchehri has supported programs and designed mobile games for the Department of State to bridge cultures and improve public diplomacy and foreign policy awareness, and for the National Guard Bureau, tasked to research and design social media-based solutions for stress inoculation to battle and prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. More

Arjun Sethi

Arjun SethiArjun Sethi is responsible for setting the overall strategic vision for Lolapps and guiding the development of fresh, high quality social games.  Prior to Lolapps, Arjun was the CEO and founder of ROFLplay, a social gaming startup which was acquired by Lolapps in July 2009. Arjun initially served as the Head of Business and Corporate Development for Lolapps and was named CEO in March 2010. Previously, Arjun has held various management roles with the Carlyle Group and Saset Healthcare. In 1999, he also co-founded Advanced Tuning Products, a manufacturing company within the automotive industry.  Arjun also currently serves on the Board of Advisors at iSocket and holds a B.A , B.S in History, Economics from University of Maryland, College Park. More

Ben Sawyer

Ben SawyerBen Sawyer is the co-founder of Digitalmill, a games consulting firm based in Portland, Maine. Since beginning his career in game development over ten years ago, Sawyer has pioneered major initiatives in the field of serious games and has become a nationally recognized leader within the games community.

For the past seven years, Sawyer has dedicated his professional life to discovering new ways to expand the use of games beyond entertainment. In 2002, he co-founded the Serious Games Initiative, a project of the U.S. Government's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The following year, Sawyer organized the first-ever Serious Games Summit – a conference which now attracts 300-500 attendees annually, who meet to share best practices in the development of serious games. The Serious Games Initiative continues to serve as one of the leading organizations in the field of serious games. More

Michael Angst

Michael AngstMichael Angst is the founder and CEO of E-Line Media, a publisher of digital entertainment that engages, educates and empowers. E-Line works with leading foundations, academics, non-profits and government agencies to harness the power of games for learning, health, and social impact. E-Line is the publisher of Gamestar Mechanic, a game-based learning platform that empowers youth to design games as a pathway to developing key 21st century skills, and is in development on Talkers and Doers, a social game that empowers teens and young adults to learn entrepreneurship. More

Dr. Frank Biocca

Dr. Frank BioccaDr. Frank Biocca directs the networked Media Interface and Network Design (M.I.N.D.) Lab. Dr. Biocca is interested in how mind and media can be coupled to extend human cognition and enhance human performance. His current projects include research on the psychology of presence in virtual environments, spatial cognition and information organization in high-bandwidth and mobile system collaborative augmented reality systems, and work on adapting interfaces to cognitive styles and sub-cultural differences. Among his books is the award winning, Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality. Dr. Biocca has patents on augmented reality technology, over 150 publications, and participated in the introduction of the first portable computer. More

Abigail Taylor

Abigail TaylorAbigail Taylor is Executive Director of iCivics Inc., an organization committed to reinvigorating civic education through online games and other interactive resources. She has grown the organization from a small project at Georgetown Law to the leading resource for social studies games and online civics curriculum. Abby was previously the 2007-2008 fellow for the Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary at Georgetown Law. Abby has also worked as a senior policy associate at a national child advocacy organization, and has designed curriculum for and taught elementary and middle school-aged students. more

Garrison LeMasters'

Garrison LeMasters'Garrison LeMasters’ recent work revolves around the intersection of technology and play, with a particular focus on video games and synthetic worlds. He is especially interested in the ways that games and simulations make political arguments, and in the ways that new technologies are challenging the long-standing place of games in Western culture.

Abe Stein

Abe SteinAbe Stein is audio director and a researcher at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab in Cambridge, Mass. He has worked on a number of projects as a designer at the lab, including a game about player failure (Pierre: Insanity Inspired) and The Sophocles Project (Seer, Yet One Word, The Ship), a trilogy of games inspired by Sophocles' Theban Plays. He has done research on textual adaptation and procedural rhetoric, writing about the ontology of games and meaning making through play. He is currently studying sports video game play communities, examining how and why they so passionately play the grossly understudied genre of sports video games. More

David Sunier

David SunierDavid Saunier is the SVP of Media for One Economy Corp., an international non-profit organization that uses technology to help low-income and underserved populations move into the social and economic mainstream. David is responsible for the oversight and production of One Economy's web properties, including The Beehive and the Public Internet Channel. David and the media team at One Economy have helped to define public purpose media online, partnering with Hollywood to create web series that inspire, inform and facilitate action including Diary of a Single Mom, Los Americans, 9INE, Real American Family and the upcoming feature film, The Discarded Boys.

One Economy has also helped create a new sector in public purpose app development with its new program Applications For Good.

David has been a web and graphic designer for over 17 years, at One Economy and elsewhere.

Jeff Lopez

Jeff LopezJeff Lopez is project manager and editor of the blog at Gamification Co, a consulting and media agency dedicated to promoting greater user engagement within business, non-profit, and government. As a digital native, Lopez explores ways to utilize the engaging features of games within business and civic involvement. He previously worked as a congressional intern for Senator Tom Udall and graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in International Studies. His thesis, "Beyond the Firewall: the Internet and State-Society Relations in China" examined the impact of technology on public relations in the People's Republic of China. More

Josh Knowles

Josh KnowlesJosh Knowles is the founder and lead technologist of Frescher-Southern. A social media development consultant living in New York City, Josh has worked on social, mobile, and gaming projects with groups including MTV, mtvU, Digium, Area/Code Games, RunInterference, PhonePlay, Studio IMC, and the University of Texas. Before moving to New York, Josh lived in Austin, Texas where he was an integral part of the local digital music scene, performing under the monikers "DXM" and "The Clearing Stages." In Austin he served as a director at the Austin Museum of Digital Art and ran his own digital music arts organization called Frescher-Southern. Josh holds an undergraduate honors degree with concentrations in literature and creative writing from the University of Texas. He holds, as well, a master's degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. He also lived in a vegan, clothing-optional co-op for three years. But now generally keeps his pants on in public and eats meat.

Jim Egenrieder

Jim EgenriederJim Egenrieder specializes in STEM education strategies, research and evaluation for NASA eClips and NASA RealWork-InWorld. He is on the faculty of both the Math and Science Education Programs and the Natural Resources Department of Virginia Tech, and with Arlington Public Schools as STEM Education Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development Specialist. He began his career in the mid 80's as a fish and wildlife biologist, and later worked for more than 12 years on Capitol Hill in Agricultural and Environmental Policy before starting an adventure sports company then switching to a career in education in the late 1990's..

Derek Lomas

Derek LomasDerek Lomas is a designer and learning-science PhD student based at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Lomas designs educational games that help support critical STEM skills in young learners. His game designs for were recently awarded the "Impact Prize" by the United States Chief Technology Officer in the National STEM Game Competition. Lomas also co-founded, an open-source community committed to the development of affordable, effective and fun learning games for underprivileged children around the world. In 2009, Playpower received a MacArthur Foundation grant to support the development of new learning games for a television-connected 8-bit computer that is widely sold in developing countries for ~$10

Farah Pandith

Farah PandithFarah Pandith was appointed Special Representative to Muslim Communities in June 2009. Her office is responsible for executing Secretary Clinton’s vision for engagement with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level. Prior to this appointment, she was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs with a focus on Muslim communities in Europe. She also worked on issues relating to countering violent Islamic extremism. Before joining the Department of State, she served as the Director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council. Prior to joining the NSC, she was Chief of Staff for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for USAID. Earlier, she Vice President of International Business for ML Strategies in Boston, Massachusetts. She has served on several boards with a focus on international affairs including the World Affairs Council of Boston, the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs, and the British-American Project. She was a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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