White House Taps Code for America Founder to Be Deputy U.S. CTO

Code for America Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Pahlka will serve as the Deputy U.S. CTO for Government Innovation for one year.

by / May 30, 2013
Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director, Code for America. Photo by Jessica Mulholland Photo by Jessica Mulholland

Code for America (CfA), a fellowship program known for pairing programmers and Web developers with cities to create civic projects, is saying goodbye to its founder for one year so that she can pursue a fellowship of her own -- in the federal government.

The program’s Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Pahlka announced on Thursday, May 30, on a Code for America blog that she will join the staff of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, to serve as the Deputy CTO for Government Innovation under U.S. CTO Todd Park. Pahlka will serve in the position for one year, then return to her current position with Code for America.

“During my year, I hope, as the CfA fellows do, to both give and get. I want to give whatever perspectives and experiences I have to offer, and I want to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to work in government, with all of its challenges and opportunities, because that experience is increasingly central to our work [at Code for America],” Pahlka wrote in her blog.

In 2012, Pahlka was named one of Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for her efforts in creating the Code for America program. Pahlka founded the program in 2009 to help city governments foster new ideas in innovation with the assistance of skilled technical fellows who work with participating cities for one year.

During Pahlka’s tenure with the White House, Bob Sofman and Abhi Nemani, Code for America’s chief program officer and chief of staff, respectively, will co-lead the organization as interim directors.
Photo by Jessica Mulholland.

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