Permanent Presidential Innovation Fellows

Today, President Obama made the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF)-- a program bringing technologists into government to work with federal agencies on some of their thorniest tech problems-- permanent.   

This is great news.  Fellows have been working on some really tough problems at agencies like integrating internal systems at the VA so veterans can retrieve their health history with one click, and liberating troves of data (20 terabytes a day) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  

These projects have deep substantive value for each agency.  Other projects, however, are directed at improving government process.  RFP-EZ is one attempt at changing the way that the government manages the procurement process.  The PIF program itself (and hiring within the US Digital Service and 18F) are creating opportunities and incentives for short-term, project based hiring.  These process-centric initiatives have the potential to fundamentally change the way that the federal government operates.  

The PIF program is allowing government to experiment, and pilot ideas.  It's a laboratory for the Executive Branch.  And I'm glad that it will be a permanent fixture.