Three Cabinet Jobs that Help to Define Innovation

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The President today selected three new leaders for his Cabinet who, together, will be critical for the success of America’s businesses, and particularly the technology sector.  The Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are three individuals whose work will shape the direction of the United States on innovation and sustainable energy policies. 

For the last several years, ITI has worked with Gina McCarthy in her role as Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation to further solidify the partnership between EPA and industry on EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.  During the past decade, the ENERGY STAR public-private partnership has been a driving force behind the more widespread use of such innovations such as efficient fluorescent lighting, power management systems for office equipment and data centers, and low-standby energy use.  Moving forward, we’ll work with the EPA to help ensure that ENERGY STAR remains relevant to the massive efficiencies enabled by the emerging world of networked things and systems.  Ms. McCarthy is a strong leader, and we look forward to working with her in her new role.

Similarly, ITI works with the Department of Energy to identify opportunities for collaboration on advancing tech-based solutions for the nation’s energy and sustainability challenges.  We believe that innovative technologies can help to free the U.S. from its reliance on foreign energy.  These technologies, developed through private-public partnerships, can increase productivity, cut down on overall energy usage, and improve the efficiency of domestic energy sources.  We look forward to working with Ernest Moniz on these and other priorities.

Finally, the President has named Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his choice to lead OMB.  OMB is one of the most influential agencies in the federal government, whether by setting budget limits or regulating the private sector.  It is the starting point for the development of the federal government’s innovation priorities and technology practices.  And given the current effort to address our nation’s fiscal challenges, OMB’s role in establishing U.S. priorities for science and R&D is critical.  (If you doubt that this should be a real economic priority, see how China is ramping up its R&D by double-digit figures.)  Sylvia Burwell is a proven leader who understands the role of OMB in our government and our economy, and we look forward to working with her and her team in the years ahead.

There remain a few open seats in the President’s Cabinet, particularly the United States Trade Representative and Department of Commerce, as well as key posts throughout the federal agencies focused on trade, economic growth, and workforce development.  We’re eager to see the women and men chosen for those important posts and for the Obama Administration and the Congress to work together to create an economy anchored in innovation and creating new jobs and new businesses across the country. 

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2 comments
  • Easter Sat., March 30, 4:14 AM
    Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good informaiton.
  • Mert Fri., March 29, 12:31 AM
    I'm an admitted sketpic.However, I recall sitting in high school chattering with friends about whatever it is teenagers are able to talk about for hours. We were using email to send each other messages: hundreds of frivolous, useless messages about lunch and weekend plans. That was ~1988. Today, in 2009, email is a vital tool for getting my job done, both for working with colleagues and for interacting with the public. Socially, I still use it to communicate with those same friends. As a citizen, I use it regularly to contact elected officials and public agencies. As an activist, I use it to share information and organize with my community. Email is just a tool, and it can serve multiple purposes, driven by my goals at any given time.I view facebook, twitter, youtube, etc., similarly: they are simply tools.The question is if and how we can harness those tools effectively to support the mission and goals of our individual programs. For some programs, they may not be useful. For others, they will become key tools in the big toolbox we use to accomplish our missions. We don't all use identical toolboxes, nor should we we have different audiences and different missions.I hope whatever policies and agreements are developed on the national level for fed gov allow for individual programs or agencies to be innovative and agile in their mission-driven use of these tools, while maintaining the continuity and accuracy of information that the public can rely on.My experience has been that if all I look at is how people are using these tools to talk about what they had for lunch or watched on tv, then that is all I will see; but that doesn't mean that is all that is out there. What is out there will only be limited by our innovation and creativity as to how to wield the tools (or to borrow and harness the innovations our colleagues have successfully deployed!).Just another perspective
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