President Obama’s Tech Gurus Are Coming To TechCrunch Disrupt

We’re thrilled to announce that two of President Obama’s technology gurus, Todd Park, the US Chief Technology Officer, and Steven VanRoekel, its Chief Information Officer, will be joining us on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC on Wednesday, May 23. Big Data has been all the rage this year, and the government is a massive stockpiler of lucrative datasets in energy, health, and range of other fields. As former Silicon Valley brethren, Park and VanRoekel want to open up the floodgates on the government’s data warehouse in a way that’s useful to savvy entrepreneurs and the nascent “civic startup” industry (think Code for America).

After a joint-announcement of their upcoming agenda, Park and VanRoekel will be joined by myself and Matt Lira, the Digital Communications Director for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Lira has been an open government tour de force in Congress, helping to open up the beleaguered branch to legislative transparency and direct democracy.

While the panel will be mostly business, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also discuss the role technology has in the actual democratic process. For instance, Park’s predecessor, Aneesh Chopra, made inroads with platforms such as We The People, a petitioning tool that gave the public the same media access that the White House Press Corps has to get answers from the President. We’ll discuss the federal government’s role in increasing the public’s influence on and access to policy.

We hope the panel will be especially valuable for attendees, as the panel was curated so entrepreneurs interested in big data, civic startups, and egovernment could meet the speakers and find out how to advance their ideas.

See you in New York.