Improving Customer Service

Improving Government Effectiveness
Location: Independence Ballroom A Level:
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Good customer service is not traditionally a subject we associate with government. Yet serving citizens is a huge part of the job at many agencies. What can government agencies learn from the private sector and from those in government who are learning to raise the bar in customer service? Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is joined by a series of government innovators to highlight breakthroughs in customer service.

Photo of Peter Levin

Peter Levin

Department of Veterans Affairs

Peter L. Levin was appointed senior adviser to the secretary, and chief technology officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs June 1, 2009. Levin’s job is to identify new technologies and promote innovations that will allow VA to serve veterans with higher reliability, greater accessibility, and reduced cost. He also acts as a liaison to key stakeholders, other federal agencies, and private sector partners.

Prior to joining VA, Levin worked as co-founder and chief executive of as semiconductor software firm, where he sat on the board of directors of several technology start-ups, such as NeoLinear Inc. and Astaro AG. He was also general partner of TVM and well as venture partner in Ventizz Capital–both Germany-based early-stage venture capital firms

During the Clinton administration, Levin held various roles including special assistant to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the assistant to the counselor to the president. He was also an expert consultant in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he co-edited the 1997 Biennial Presidential Report to Congress on Science and Technology, and co-authored its chapter on technology.

Levin began his academic career at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and later served as research dean in the College of Engineering at Boston University. A National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, he has written articles on topics ranging from global positioning and cybersecurity to advanced simulations of electromagnetic and ultrasonic systems. Levin was a guest professor of mathematical physics and Humboldt fellow at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, and is currently a consulting professor at Stanford University and a member of the advisory board of the computer science department at WPI.

Levin earned his doctorate degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Photo of Thor Muller

Thor Muller

Get Satisfaction

Thor is CTO & co-founder of Get Satisfaction, a Web-based platform that powers over 35,000 customer communities. With its motto “Love Your Customers,” Get Satisfaction is a leader in empowering organizations to support and engage their customers on the social Web. As a serial entrepreneur he is the co-founder of Rubyred Labs, a web development firm specializing in social networks, and Trapezo, a venture-backed startup that made Web software for syndicating content, acquired by Perfect Commerce in 2002. Previously, he founded a pioneering Web development boutique, Prophet Communications, later acquired by Frog Design where he served as VP Digital Media.

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  • Safari Books Online

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Rob Koziura at (415) 947-6111 or email

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