Innovating Together!

| Welcome back to open.nasa.gov! We have a new team to tackle new challenges and exciting opportunities to allow you to engage with NASA’s data, tools, and resources. As we update our activities and plans, and make them available to you here on this site, we’ll be looking for your participation as partners in NASA’s continued […]

Welcome back to open.nasa.gov! We have a new team to tackle new challenges and exciting opportunities to allow you to engage with NASA’s data, tools, and resources.

As we update our activities and plans, and make them available to you here on this site, we’ll be looking for your participation as partners in NASA’s continued success. Specifically, we ask for your comments on NASA’s Open Government Plan Version 3.0. in the next few weeks.

Currently, I am the NASA Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer for Information Technology (CTO-IT). I’m realigning the Innovation and Technology Division to match our future goals into four focus areas: 1) Innovation and Digital Services, 2) Data Management and Services, 3) Enterprise Architecture, and 4) Emerging Technology.

Our motto: Innovating Together!

Today, I want to introduce the new Open Innovation team – who are under the Innovation and Digital Services area. We’ve spent the last six months garnering human capital and financial resources to bring this team together to meet the ever-expanding requirements to make NASA’s data transparent, accessible, and available as a tool to spur nationwide innovation. The Open Innovation team will work closely with the other three focus teams and other OCIO divisions, as well as other NASA organizations, and fellow federal agencies.

Beth Beck comes to us from NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. She leads our Innovation and Digital Services activities. Beth is tasked with helping our office meet the White House and OMB mandates for open data and digital strategy – which include helping to set up the new NASA Digital Services Council, and implementing challenge programs, like the International Space Apps Challenge, that allow the public to engage with our datasets for problem-solving. The Digital Services Council, co-chaired by NASA’s CIO and Office of Communications’ Associate Administrator will bring together representatives from NASA field centers and mission organizations to develop and implement digital strategy from the agency-perspective. Beth is entrusted with keeping the team focused on the big picture for NASA, while ensuring we get the job done efficiently and effectively.

John Sprague is a veteran of OCIO and Space Apps, bringing a depth of institutional knowledge to our new team. He joins the Open Innovation team from his previous position as the OCIO NASA End User Service Executive responsible for messaging and collaboration services, email, calendaring, instant messaging, file sharing, WebEx and desktops/laptops/PDAs/cellphones.  He is currently on a one-year detail as the NASA OCIO Executive Liaison Officer. He serves as both the NASA Enterprise End-User Architect, Technology Subject Matter Expert (SME), and the Space Apps Challenge Manager. John is tireless in his efforts to connect with the Space Apps challenge owners, coordinate the development and review process, and prep the SMEs to deploy them at Space Apps locations around the globe.

Jason Duley comes to the Open Innovation team from the IT Labs team as the Software Lead for Open Innovation. Jason is also the Data.gov lead, coordinating the design and data aggregation effort on the new climate.data.gov site – a lynchpin in the President’s Climate Change Initiative. He works closely with the OCIO/IA team, data experts across NASA and other federal agencies. Jason manages the Open Innovation websites, including open.nasa.gov, data.nasa.gov, code.nasa.gov and the NASA GitHub channels. Jason is also leading the OCIO Code Sharing effort by defining and building out new architectures to more easily and cost effectively share and federate code repositories.  Jason has big plans for integrating his Code Sharing Federation Services with code.nasa.gov as well as adding features to data.nasa.gov to build a NASA authoritative publication interface.

Ethan McMahon joins the Open Innovation team from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ethan brings expertise in running the EPA Apps for the Environment Challenge, as well as his depth of knowledge within the Earth Science community and being EPA’s point of contact for Data.gov. As the Space Apps Project Manager, he jumped into the middle of the rocket ride toward our April 2014 launch date. Ethan represents both the OCIO and the Science Mission Directorate on the Open Innovation team, and will lead the identification and collection of the rich science data sets for the overall digital strategy. By working across our two organizations, he is uniquely positioned to help us be a value-added service organization.

Griffin Wholley comes to the team from the Budget Division within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where he created the NASA internal wiki in the OMB MAX domain, managed the $3.88B Space Operations account, and participated in several interagency collaboration groups focusing on the advancement of technology in the federal workplace. He is leading the effort to re-energize the content for the CTO-IT websites, and will help develop an agile strategy for the new Digital Services Council. He is a digital evangelist with a background in entrepreneurial finance, and will serve as a bridge to better engage the new solver communities with NASA data, tools, and resources.

Beth Hochberg joins the team as a Presidential Management Council Fellow from the General Counsel’s Office at the General Services Administration (GSA). She is the social media law/technical lawyer, which will be a welcome addition to the Open Innovation team. Beth will be invaluable as we stand up the Digital Services Council, developing the structure and processes needed to bring together representatives from across the agency to wrestle data issues, standards, and challenges. Beth’s experience at GSA, specifically the implementation of open government and data policy requirements, will serve the Open Innovation team well as we work to meet (and exceed) the increasing number of mandates.

Elizabeth Walker Sabet serves as the Space Apps Community Manager. While not a full-time member of the Open Innovation team, we rely on Elizabeth to coordinate the local hosts for nearly 100 Space Apps locations around the world as we gear up for this year’s event. She leads her team to design, develop, and maintain the Space Apps website; coordinate the Space Apps social media team; manage the logistics for the New York City main stage event and connections to all the global events, and keep us all informed throughout the process.

In the next few weeks, each of our team members will be sharing their vision for the challenges ahead of us. Please join me in welcoming the team! We’re thrilled to have so many new enthusiastic faces. We will miss Nick, Ali, Sean of the former Open Innovation team and thank them for giving us a launch pad from which we can rocket forward. The innovation space is a tightly knit community of passionate believers, inspiring instigators, and folks just like you who believe that the power of technology and collaboration will make change happen.

Join us, as we Innovate Together!


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