PIF Open Application Period

Presidential Innovation Fellows applications are now open

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Want to use your tech, design or entrepreneurial skills for good? Your time is now! Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) applications are open through May 14, 2021.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program is now accepting applications from creative, courageous entrepreneurs, data scientists, design experts, software developers, system architecture leaders and more to serve as 12-month “entrepreneurs in residence” who radically improve the way government works. 

Applications are open now through May 14, 2021. You can learn more and apply at apply.pif.gov.

Our fellows come from diverse backgrounds and have a wide range of skills, but they share compassion, excellence and dedication. Do you want to work with a team that constantly challenges and supports you? Do you long to work with peers who put people first at every step of innovation? If so, PIF could be the job for you.

About the program

Established by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2012, PIF unites industry’s brightest technologists with forward-thinking federal leaders to improve the way government builds, designs and delivers services. Today the program operates within Technology Transformation Services, an organization in the General Services Administration with a mission to design and deliver a digital government with and for the American public. PIF has introduced some of the private sector's top innovators, entrepreneurs and executives to the federal government, improving public services for hundreds of millions of Americans as a result. Since its launch, the program has embedded more than 193 fellows across 45 federal agencies, with over 53 percent of PIF alumni continuing in government after their fellowship.

Who’s a PIF?

PIF seeks diverse cohorts of mid-to-senior-level experts in data and AI; engineering; product, design and experience; and digital strategy. We also seek innovators who bring different lived experiences and perspectives to problems, so that we’re addressing them in equitable ways. Read about our most recent PIF cohort here.

Our reach

We pair each PIF cohort with one of our federal agency partners (in the last year, we worked with 25 federal agencies). Each fellow, or a small team of fellows, is embedded within an agency, meaning they work “in-house” and partner directly with senior agency leadership. PIF projects are just as specific as they are expansive: some serve people historically underrepresented in medical research, some serve job seekers with disabilities, some serve every veteran, and some serve every person in the United States. Fellows also collaborate with their cohort on special projects across government.

Our projects

Speaking of projects! PIF has three essential project criteria:

  • Challenge or opportunity is of critical agency or national priority
  • Fellows work directly at the leadership level of programs and agencies
  • Early-stage challenges with room for fellows to shape, define, and lead initiatives

Our current projects include:

Headshot of Babatunde Ogunta

 

Data science for good: PIF Babatunde Oguntade is working with VA Deputy CTO and PIF alum Zach Goldfine to deliver Veterans’ benefits faster and use deep learning and health insights to optimize benefits dollars and care for Veterans more holistically.

Headshot of Maria Patterson

 

Combating AI bias: PIF Maria Patterson, an open data leader who went from data science at a venture studio to PIF, is working with the U.S. Department of Labor to help ensure that HR-related AI tools are not unintentionally biased against job seekers with disabilities.

Headshot of Krishna Juluru

 

Fighting the pandemic: PIF Krishna Juluru is helping to guide digital health platforms and diagnostic technologies to address the COVID-19 pandemic with the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

 

For our next cohort, we're focusing on our nation’s most pressing issues, including public health, economic recovery, climate change, racial justice, and more. Within these priorities, we use digital and other innovative approaches to realize greater impact. We’ll be adding projects for this next cohort on our website soon.

What makes PIF unique?

We’re grateful to work alongside many amazing civic technology programs. Where other programs focus on technical execution, PIF provides tech and innovation leadership. Our fellows know how to uncover and articulate challenges, assemble the right teams to execute, and build the in-agency skills, vision and sponsorship to scale. 

What’s a fellow’s journey?

While every PIF experience is unique, here are some shared milestones. A detailed timeline is included on our website's apply page.

  1. Apply: All U.S. citizens and nationals are eligible to apply. 
  2. Unite: Fellows are matched with a senior agency official who serves as the project champion. They work directly within the agency for 12 months, with the potential to extend for a total of two years. 
  3. Grow: Together with their cohort, fellows gain just as much as they give. Every day is a lesson in public-interest innovation. When fellows complete our program, they join our alumni community of 150+ technologists advancing mission-driven solutions at local, national and international levels.

Why now?

We’re fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty. We’re co-creating a federal government that prioritizes and is accountable to racial justice and diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. We’re combating climate change. There’s never been a better time to bring tech and compassion to the front lines of government. Do you desire a job where you give just as much as you gain? Here’s your chance. At PIF, innovators aren't always disruptors; our innovators build people up. Tech is just the tool of choice.

The journey is never easy, but it’s rewarding. Government can be complex and ambiguous, but full of people who want to make it better. PIFs face many challenges. But our people, our partners, and our projects forge something incredible: a stronger, safer, more seamless, effective, trustworthy and resilient government. 

We hope you’ll apply to PIF! If you’d like to learn more about PIF-and-partner work, read our Impact Report. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what current PIFs have to say about their experience:

Nathan Huang

 

"Not only have I been excited to bring my talents to my work for the country, I feel comfortable bringing my full self to work. At PIF, I have found an incredibly supportive and thoughtful community in the other fellows. As a data scientist, this means I have the fortune of working alongside CX practitioners, product managers, strategy leaders and AI researchers -- all of whom are generous with their time and willing to teach me new skills and provide me important feedback. Additionally, as a gay and Asian American man, I am proud of my cohort-mates for their commitment to inclusiveness by continuing to challenge their biases to make the workplace even more welcoming to all people each and every day. I wake up excited each day to go to work as a PIF (even if it is a short walk between my bed and my desk when working from home during this pandemic), and I am grateful for the friends and experiences that PIF has given me.”

Nathen Huang, Presidential Innovation Fellow at the U.S. Department of State

Headshot of Carlos Roque

 

You'll work with others to create momentum and steer good ideas into great ones — how is up to you. Through practical, incremental steps, I've been able to bring others along while learning from their experiences as well. That's helped me to grow as a leader and better understand how to deliver and align on product goals across a complex organization.”

Carlos Roqué, Presidential Innovation Fellow at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Headshot of Rashee Gupta

 

"The PIF program helps transcend skills and passions into a platform that has enabled me to make tangible impact, be creative, be a leader, be a navigator and above all, be a part of something bigger. Exposure and access, along with support from the community of change markers, has not only made meaningful work possible, but also helps me strive to solve complex issues and thrive as a person.”

Raashee Gupta Erry, Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Headshot of Soni Mechem

 

"I was raised with a real sense of civic duty and come from a family who has a long legacy of military and public service. The mindset was, ‘Don’t just complain. Go do something to help.’ In 2018 I was at a real crossroads in my career. I had developed all these skills and experience in technology, human centered design, CX, healthcare and strategy. I was working very hard, getting paid well, and yet, I didn’t feel like I was making any real difference. I yearned for a way to have a meaningful impact. When I found out about civic tech service through the PIF program, everything just clicked into place. Here was a way to fully leverage my experience, serve my country and have a meaningful impact on millions of lives. Working on initiatives ranging from precision medicine to overcoming COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy to measuring and improving the cultural health of the VA to improving the impact the federal government can have on rural health to reimagining the next generation of traffic safety data has been so rewarding. What a blessing to contribute and to be able to carry on my family’s sense of duty.”

Soni Meckem, Presidential Innovation Fellow at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Resolution Management, Diversity & Inclusion

Headshot of Devin Brande

 

"I had been thinking seriously about joining the government for several years. But the government is a big place and joining can be remarkably difficult. For me, PIF was an opportunity to join a group of like minded fellows who share a common desire to make a difference in technology and innovation. To benefit from the hard won lessons of others and to gain the strength of working from within a group that shares the same goal. The PIF focus on people particularly resonates with me — the lone innovator shouting change from the mountaintop is a myth. Real change comes from people working together on the hard problems that challenge the ego of those seeking only individual glory."

Devin Brande, Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Joint Special Operations Command (Department of Defense)

Headshot of Ariele Faber

 

"It’s so refreshing to be able to speak candidly and say, ‘Here is what I am looking at. How do I approach this?’ There is such a wide range of lived experiences, perspectives, and skills amongst the PIF community,  and really at a caliber that allows us to lean on each other in this senior advisor capacity.”

Ariele Faber, Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Last Reviewed: 2021-03-05