On the Q&A platform Quora today, Chief Technology Officer Todd Park answered a question about President Obama’s efforts to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship. Read Todd’s response below, or join the conversation on Quora.
Quora question: What efforts has President Obama made while in office to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation? I’m looking for specific examples of things the Administration has done to foster innovation in the US.
President Obama’s efforts to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship are wide-ranging and unprecedented. As Chief Technology Officer of the United States (a position created for the first time by President Obama), I see these efforts first-hand throughout the Administration—and as an entrepreneur who cofounded a company at age 24 and took it public ten years later, I have a special appreciation for how startups and innovation create jobs and prosperity across the country.
Let’s focus on three areas where the President’s leadership is making a huge impact: promoting high-growth entrepreneurship, helping accelerate technology breakthroughs, and investing in the “building blocks” of innovation. This is by no means a comprehensive list of every Administration effort to foster innovation across the United States, but every example below is specific, impactful, and well underway.
Dan PfeifferJuly 31, 2012 05:30 PM EDTShare This Post
Yesterday following his column, I sent the following email to Charles Krauthammer. Charles asked that I make the email public and I have agreed.
I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology. There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post. The point I was trying to make – under the belief that the Bust in the residence was the one previously in the Oval Office– was that this oft repeated talking point about the bust being a symbol of President Obama’s failure to appreciate the special relationship is false. The bust that was returned was returned as a matter of course with all the other artwork that had been loaned to President Bush for display in his Oval Office and not something that President Obama or his Administration chose to do. I still think this is an important point and one I wish I had communicated better.
A better understanding of the facts on my part and a couple of deep breaths at the outset would have prevented this situation. Having said all that, barring a miracle comeback from the Phillies I would like to see the Nats win a world series even if it comes after my apology
Phil Larson July 31, 2012 05:22 PM EDTShare This PostPresident Barack Obama addresses 2011 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipients in the East Room of the White House, July 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today, the President met with a group of leading American scientists and engineers in the East Room of the White House to thank them for their research and encourage them to keep up the good work. Before meeting with the President, in an award ceremony today at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Science and Technology Advisor John Holdren conferred the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) to the 96 outstanding researchers.
Last week, President Obama announced this year’s winners of PECASE, an honor bestowed upon independent researchers in the early stages of their careers. PECASE recognizes and supports scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge and reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to developing outstanding scientists and engineers that contribute to the growth and prosperity of our Nation.
“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” President Obama said. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”
Joe BidenJuly 31, 2012 03:01 PM EDTShare This Post
Ed. Note: This op-ed was first published by the McClatchy Newspapers.
I’ve spent a lot of years in Washington, and in the past, I had always found that even when partisanship was at its worst, there were still certain issues that rose above the normal course of politics. These days, unfortunately, even that precept is being challenged.
Protecting victims of domestic violence, an issue that has always enjoyed bipartisan support and should be well beyond debate, has become the center of one in Congress. And women across the nation are now at risk.
Let me explain what’s happening:
In 1994, I wrote the Violence Against Women Act, which established several critical new protections: first, it provides law enforcement with new tools to prosecute domestic violence crimes and put offenders behind bars. Second, it helps victims find safe places to stay so they don’t have to choose between living on the streets or living with someone who is hurting them. And third, it gives women a crisis hotline they can call when they need immediate help.
We’ve made a lot of progress as a nation since the act first became law. Annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent. The national hotline has answered more than 2 million crisis calls, directing victims to life-saving assistance.
But make no mistake, this violence still happens every day.
We need to continue these programs and we need to add improvements. For example, we now know that new screening tools can help law enforcement and the courts reduce domestic violence homicide rates, helping them to step in before abuse becomes murder. Such tools might have saved Sarah Rosio, a 24-year-old Wisconsin woman who was strangled to death by her boyfriend after having been abused many times before her death. Two weeks before her death, Sarah was denied a protective order against her abuser. Sarah is gone now, tragically, but we can help others avoid her terrible fate.
To do so, Congress must make the protections in the Violence Against Women Act available to every person in this country who may ever need them. This simply cannot be up for debate in a civilized society like ours.
Every few years, the Violence Against Women Act needs to be reauthorized. And in the past, Congress has worked cooperatively to reauthorize, improve, and expand the reach of the law. Up until now.
Earlier this year, the Senate passed the bill, and they did it with both Democratic and Republican support. Unfortunately, the House did not follow this broadly bipartisan path; Republicans there passed a much weaker version of the bill. While the House bill contains some of the important provisions of the Senate bill, it lacks key improvements – like protecting more victims and requiring dating violence and sexual assault prevention programs on campus – and, in some cases, it actually rolls back current protections for victims of domestic violence.
Support for the Violence Against Women Act runs broad and deep. It includes law enforcement, prosecutors, victims’ advocates, faith groups, and Democrats and Republicans alike. So this should be easy – and beyond politics. Instead, the clock is now running out for the more than 23,000 women who call our national domestic abuse hotline every month and for all women who may one day be the victims of violence.
Congress should pass the bipartisan version approved by the U.S. Senate.
I know there are fundamental differences between Democrats and Republicans, and I don’t expect those to disappear. But on this issue of basic decency, where there remains so much agreement between us, Republicans and Democrats ought to leave politics at the water’s edge. Because women everywhere are counting on us, and they can’t wait any longer.
Secretary Kathleen SebeliusJuly 31, 2012 02:42 PM EDTShare This Post
Ed. Note: This article is a cross post from Healthcare.gov. On Wednesday, August 1st at 1:30 PM ET, Secretary Sebelius will participate in a live online discussion with WebMD. You can watch the conversation live at www.healthcare.gov/live.
Women deserve to have control over their health care. Aug. 1, 2012, ushers in a new day for women’s health when, for the first time ever, women will have access to eight new services at no out-of-pocket cost to keep them healthier and to catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier, more treatable stage. This benefit will take effect for millions of adult and adolescent women over the course of the next year—and it’s just one of many benefits of the health care law that let women and their doctors, not insurance companies, make decisions about a woman’s care.
When it comes to health, women are often the primary decision-maker for their families and the trusted source in circles of friends. Women often take care of their families first and put off their own health care needs. Too often, they have gone without preventive services, worrying about what even a $20 insurance copay would mean to their families’ budgets and choosing to pay for groceries or rent instead.
But now, thanks to the health care law, many women won’t have to make that choice.
Denis R. McDonough July 31, 2012 02:16 PM EDTShare This Post
As Americans, we draw strength from the fact that freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly are among first rights protected in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. And we are not alone in cherishing these rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that every person, in every corner of the globe, has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This includes the freedom of every person to change his or her religion or beliefs, and — either alone or in community with others, publicly or privately — to manifest his or her religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Yet far too many people, in far too many places around the world, still live without the protection of these fundamental freedoms. Yesterday, the Department of State released its annual report on the state of international religious freedom around the world, which documents that in nearly half of the world’s countries, governments either abuse religious minorities or fail to intervene in societal abuse. The report describes how, in many countries, individuals live under oppressive laws restricting their religious practice or attire, or in fear that they will be targeted by blasphemy, apostasy, and dissent laws. Repressive governments use these laws to curb their citizens’ religious freedom, and imprison them for their beliefs. This abuse concerns us not just because of what it means on a personal level for millions of individuals around the world, but also because religious freedom is a key feature of stable, secure and peaceful societies.
Colleen CurtisJuly 30, 2012 06:26 PM EDTShare This PostFirst Lady Michelle Obama hugs LeBron James following the USA vs. France men’s basketball game at Olympic Park during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, July 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
First Lady Michelle Obama was in the stands on Saturday as Team USA scored its first gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In her unofficial capacity as First Fan, Mrs. Obama had the chance to cheer on swimmer Ryan Lochte as he won the men’s 400 meter individual medley.
That afternoon, the First Lady took in the tennis competition from Wimbledon, watching Serena Williams knock off Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-1 from a seat beside Oracene Price, Serena’s mom.On Sunday, the First Lady gave each member of Team USA – up to and including the coaches – a hug after they moved past France in the first round of the basketball competition.Mrs. Obama and the U.S. delegation, which included Olympians Dominique Dawes, Brandi Chastain, Grant Hill and Summer Sanders, and Paralympian Gabriel Diaz de Leon, also attended the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night.Before the Olympic Games began, the First Lady hosted Let’s Move! London at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London, where 2,000 American and British children showed off their skills at at sports stations and got a chance to meet athletes, including David Beckham.