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The TechCongress Podcast

The TechCongress Podcast

By TechCongress
What’s it like working as a technologist in government? The TechCongress podcast highlights incredible civic technologists who are doing transformative work in the public interest technology (PIT) sector. We’ll interview TechCongress fellows and leading PIT experts to explore topics like transitioning careers from tech to public interest tech, the future of civic tech, and how civic technologists are driving the future of public policy.
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Fellow Series: B Cavello

The TechCongress Podcast

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2022 Congressional Innovation Scholars Informational Call
Weren't able to attend one of our informational calls for the 2022 Congressional Innovation Scholars Program? No worries, we recorded it for you! Listen to this episode to get more details on the application process, fellowship experience, and what our fellows have learned during their time as a TechCongress fellow in Congress. 
01:08:32
January 06, 2022
PIT Series: Rachel Dodell
Rachel Dodell is the executive director and co-founder of Coding It Forward, a non-profit organization by and for young people that works to create new opportunities and pathways into social impact and civic technology. Rachel's work focusing on harnessing technological talent for social impact and we are excited to talk to her today about her vision for the future of civic tech.
30:40
November 10, 2021
PIT Series: Andreen Soley
For our second episode of our Public Interest Tech (PIT) Series podcast, we sit down with Andreen Soley, the Director of the Public Interest Technology University Network, or PIT-UN, at New America. She has twenty years of experience working in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, and has made an incredible impact at organizations such as the City University of New York’s JFK, Jr. Institute for Worker Education Program (IWE) and Worker Education Resource Center in Los Angeles. Before joining New America, she had been working with Mount Saint Mary’s University to develop a university-wide process, which tracks, monitors, and reports on the employment outcomes of its graduate alumni. Her work focuses on helping technologists transform the world for the better and we’re so excited to talk to her today about her vision for the future of civic tech.
33:58
November 03, 2021
PIT Series: Jennifer Anastasoff
Jennifer Anastasoff is the founding member of the U.S. Digital Service at the White House and served as Head of People until late 2017. She co-founded and served as founding CEO of Fuse Corps, the nation’s top executive fellowship bringing mid-career leaders from the private sector to serve as senior advisors to public executives, largely to mayors and governors. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Tech Talent Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit project dedicated to increasing the ability of the U.S. government to recruit modern technical leaders.  In the first episode of our Public Interest Technology (PIT) Series, we sit down with Jennifer to talk about what inspired her to start these initiatives, her work bringing in tech talent to the government, and what the future of civic tech looks like. 
29:06
October 27, 2021
2022 Congressional Innovation Fellowship Informational Call
Want to learn more about the Congressional Innovation Fellowship or Scholars Program? Interested in getting some tips about the 2022 application? Intrigued about how to break through into policy? Listen to a recording of one of our info calls, hosted by Founder and Director, Travis Moore, to learn all that and more! 
01:04:52
July 29, 2021
Fellow Series: Mike Wacker
Mike Wacker is a 2021 Congressional Innovation Fellow who is serving with Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and working on tech issues relating to the Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittee  Before joining TechCongress, Mike was a software engineer with both Goggle and Microsoft. He was also a fellow for the Lincoln Network's 2020 Policy Hackers cohort.  In this episode, we sit down with Mike to talk about his journey from software engineer to TechCongress fellow and what being a civic technologist means to him.
12:05
May 28, 2021
Fellow Series: Hakan Seyalıoğlu
Hakan Seyalıoğlu is a 2021 Congressional Innovation Fellow who is serving with Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and working on digital platforms, broadband, privacy, and algorithm issues. Prior to joining TechCongress as a fellow, Hakan was a Technical Lead Manager at Google and co-founded Thorny Games, a publishing company that explores the intersection of language, culture, and identity through play. In this episode, we sit down with Hakan to talk about why he created Thorny Games, why he applied for TechCongress, and what being a civic technologist means to him. 
21:32
May 10, 2021
Fellow Series: Geoffrey Cain
Geoff Cain is a 2021 Congressional Innovation Fellow who is serving with the House Foreign Affairs Committee Minority Staff and supporting a range of issues including China, tech sanctions, and investigative work. Before becoming a TechCongress fellow, Geoff was a technology journalist and foreign correspondent who has covered Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Europe, and Silicon Valley for The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and other media outlets.  In this episode, we sit down with Geoff to talk about why he applied for TechCongress, his first book, and pivoting from journalism to policy. 
22:34
May 05, 2021
Fellow Series: Celeste Chamberlain
Celeste Chamberlain is a 2021 Congressional Innovation Fellow who is serving with the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Majority Staff and supporting issues of cybersecurity and federal IT procurement. Before becoming a TechCongress fellow, Dr. Chamberlain was taught cybersecurity at the University of Maryland Global Campus and Eastern Shore and worked as a government employee and contractor for federal agencies such as FEMA, DOJ, and DIA.  In this episode, we sit down with Celeste to talk about why she applied for TechCongress, her passion for cybersecurity, and her nonprofit 3.14. 
16:02
April 26, 2021
Fellow Series: B Cavello
B Cavello is a 2021 Congressional Innovation Fellow who is serving with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and supporting a range of tech issues including privacy, labor, algorithmic accountability, and disability rights. Prior to becoming TechCongress fellow, B was the Program Lead for the Partnership on AI, where they focused on the labor and economic implications of AI development.  In this episode, we sit down with B to talk about how their background in economics helps complement their work in tech policy, what it was like to pivot from the private to the public sector, and what the future of civic tech looks like. 
18:42
April 21, 2021
Fellow Series: Alex Prokop
Alex Prokop is a 2020 Congressional Digital Service (CDS) Fellow who served with the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress and House Information Resources, where he supported efforts to modernize Congress' digital infrastructure. Prior to joining TechCongress as a CDS Fellow, Alex led teams to rebuild HealthCare.gov and implement major VA benefits legislation.  In this episode, we chat with Alex about his work using his technical skills to help policy implementation, how he defines civic technology, and what motivated him to apply for the first Congressional Digital Service.
10:57
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Genevieve Fried
Genevieve Fried is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Scholar who served with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and supported on issues of algorithmic accountability and justice. Before becoming a TechCongress Scholar, Genevieve worked at the AI Now Institute at NYU, where she researched the social and policy implications of artificial intelligence.  In this episode, we talk with Genevieve about her work at the Oxford University and the AI Now Institute, the evolution of tech policy, and why she decided to apply for the Congressional Innovation Scholars Program.
11:46
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Noam Kantor
Noam Kantor is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Scholar who served with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation staff under Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), where he worked with the Consumer Protection Subcommittee. Before becoming a TechCongress Scholar, Noam worked as a Civic Digital Fellow and received his doctorate from Oxford University.  In the first episode, we talk with Noam about his work as a mathematician, his previous fellowship at Coding it Forward, and his passion for civic technology and tech ethics. 
07:59
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Jackson Brietzke
Jackson Brietzke is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Scholar who served with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Majority staff, where he supported on issues relating to national security and cybersecurity. Before joining TechCongress, Jackson  worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and received his Master of Science in Information Security Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.  In this episode, we chat with Jackson about what it's like to pivot from the private sector to the public sector, the issues he's most passionate about, and how he defines civic technology. 
10:17
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Crystal Grant
Crystal Grant is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Scholar who served with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and supported on oversight, health care, and technology issues. Before becoming a TechCongress Scholar, Crystal worked as a Science and Technology Policy Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academies, where she contributed to research policies to increase the number of Women of Color in tech. In this episode, we sit down with Crystal to talk about her interest in civic tech, how her background in Genetics and bioinformatics impacts how she approaches policy, and the importance of working to build the civic tech field. 
16:16
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Sohum Pawar
Sohum Pawar is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Scholar who served with Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and supported on cyber, energy, and environmental issues. Before becoming a TechCongress Scholar, Sohum explored tech-driven policy issues at the White House, EPA, a cyber threat intelligence firm, and a nuclear reactor startup. In this episode, we chat with Sohum about how his work in communication impacts his work as a technologist and policy researcher, how he defines civic technology, and what he's looking forward to working on throughout his fellowship. 
15:59
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Britney Lyons
Britney Lyons is a 2020 Congressional Digital Service (CDS) Fellow who served with the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress and the Office of the Clerk in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she supported on efforts to modernize Congress' digital infrastructure. Before joining TechCongress, Britney  co-founded a company that works with cities to build software for their unique needs. In the this episode, we sit down with Britney to talk about how the Coding for America fellowship inspired her to build tech for cities, what motivated her to join TechCongress, and what being a civic technologist means to her. 
12:55
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Johncarlo Cerna
Johncarlo "JC" Cerna is a 2020 Congressional Digital Service (CDS) Fellow who served with the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress and House Information Resources, where he supported efforts to modernize Congress' digital infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before becoming a CDS fellow, JC was a Coding it Forward Civic Digital Fellow and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Computer Science.  In this episode, we sit down with JC to talk about his passion for civic technology, his work as a Coding it Forward fellow, and the importance of utilizing technology to modernize government operations.
10:50
April 20, 2021
Meet our CDS Director: Leisel Bogan
Leisel Bogan is the Director of the Congressional Digital Service (CDS) Fellowship and a Senior Congressional Digital Service Fellow. Prior to her current role, she served as a Senior Fellow for Cybersecurity, Technology and National Security in the office of Senator Mark Warner. She also worked as a Chief of Staff and research director for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  In this episode, Leisel shares her experience working as a TechCongress Fellow for the Hill, provides advice for people interested in pivoting to policy, and talks about what being a civic technologist means to her.
15:11
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Peter Terpeluk
Peter Terpeluk is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Fellow who served with Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) and supported work on technology and health care issues. Before becoming a TechCongress fellow, Peter earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and worked as a Program Manager at Google supporting operations for its cloud computing division.  In this episode, we talk with Peter about his experience working in Silicon Valley, his interest in politics, and what drove him to apply for the TechCongress Congressional Innovation Fellowship.
13:38
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Victoria Houed
Victoria Houed is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Fellow who served with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and supported work on broadband adoption and policy, consumer online privacy, and autonomous vehicles. Before joining TechCongress, Victoria worked as a Software Engineer and Product Manager at Cards Against Humanity and founded a non-profit for Black Women in Technology called BlackByte.  In this episode, we chat with Victoria about what drew her into politics and policymaking, why she created BlackByte, and how her experience as a technologist will inform her work on tech policy. 
14:06
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Walter Pope
Walter Pope is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Fellow who served with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and supported future of work, gig economy, and economic opportunity issues. Before becoming a TechCongress fellow, Walter was a Naval Special Warfare officer where he coordinated efforts across multiple overseas teams in support of special operations and technology-driven engagements. In this episode, we sit down with Walter to talk about his desire to work in tech policy, why he decided to apply for TechCongress, and his interest in the future of work issues. 
08:06
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: John Yaros
John Yaros is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Fellow who served with Senate Homeland Security Committee Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations under Chairman Rob Portman (R-OH) and supported work on investigations into cybersecurity, illicit finance, and technology. Previously, John was a leader within the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, serving as the Section Chief of the Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation Team at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  In this episode, we chat with John about his interest in Fintech, why he joined TechCongress, and how he can best use his technical expertise to help Congress. 
11:29
April 20, 2021
Fellow Series: Anna Lenhart
Anna Lenhart is a 2020 Congressional Innovation Fellow who served with the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee under Chariman David Cicilline (D-RI), where she worked supported work on technology oversight and investigations. Before becoming a TechCongress fellow, Anna was a Senior Consultant and the AI Ethics Initiative Lead for IBM’s Federal Government Consulting Division, where she trained data scientists and operationalized principles of explainability, fairness and data-subject rights in AI and Machine Learning systems. In the first episode of our Fellow Series, we sit down with Anna to talk about her work as a technologist, what motivated her to join TechCongress, and the issues she's looking forward to working on during her fellowship. 
18:25
April 20, 2021
Meet our Founder: Travis Moore
Travis Moore created TechCongress to bring diverse technology talent, ideas, and training to Congress. Before beginning TechCongress, Travis was the Legislative Director for Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the former Chairman and Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who had jurisdiction over wide-ranging matters of technology policymaking. In this episode, we talk with Travis about his professional experience as a staffer on Capitol Hill, the TechCongress fellowship models, and the importance of having technologists at the policymaking table. 
21:17
April 20, 2021