We the (Immigrant) Geeks: Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet

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Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities. They’re earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science. But once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there’s a good chance they’ll have to leave our country. Think about that…We’re giving them all the skills they need, then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else? That’s not how you grow new industries in America. That’s how you give new industries to our competitors. That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform.

-President Obama at Del Sol High School, Las Vegas, NV, January 29, 2013

Diversity is one of America’s greatest assets. Attracting the broadest possible set of perspectives, skills, and ideas to our shores is critical to creating jobs, growing the economy, and keeping America on the cutting-edge of innovation. That’s why commonsense immigration reform is so important to the science, technology, and innovation community -- and it’s why we need to ensure that “geeks” from around the world continue to make America their mothership.

Join us this Friday, August 23, at 12:00 pm EDT for a “We the (Immigrant) Geeks” Google+ Hangout on “Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet” -- where you can meet extraordinary immigrant pioneers with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), who have made amazing discoveries, developed new inventions, founded high-growth companies, and conducted remarkable research. The individuals listed below will share their personal stories and perspectives on why paving the way for future foreign-born innovators is essential to keeping America globally competitive and keeping the Nation’s science and technology enterprise on the cutting-edge. And you can share your stories via Twitter using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks.

Friday’s “We the Geeks” Hangout will be moderated by Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Doug Rand, Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Participants include:

  • Anousheh Ansari, co-founder of TTI and Prodea Systems; co-creator of the Ansari X Prize and one of the first self-funded space tourists
  • Steve Chen, co-founder of MixBit (AVOS) and YouTube
  • Ping Fu, co-founder of Geomagic  and chief strategy officer of 3D Systems
  • Mario Molina, recipient of the Nobel Prize (Chemistry, 1995) and Medal of Freedom (2013) and professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California-San Diego
  • Jan Vilcek, Professor of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine; creator of the Vilcek Prize and recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2012)

Hear the stories of these amazing foreign-born geeks and learn why passing commonsense immigration reform is critical to making the United States a “geek magnet.” Tune in to "We the (Immigrant) Geeks: Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet" live on WhiteHouse.gov/WeTheGeeks and the White House Google+ page on Friday, August 23, at 12:00 pm EDT.

Have comments or questions? Join the conversation using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks on Twitter and on Google+ and we'll answer some of your questions during the live Hangout.

This blog originally appeared on the White House blog

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