July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR
Ben Balter

Ben Balter
Product Manager, GitHub

Website | @benbalter

Named one of the top 25 most influential people in government and technology, Fed 50’s Disruptor of the Year, and described by the US Chief Technology Officer as one of “the baddest of the badass innovators,” Ben Balter is the government evangelist at GitHub — the world’s largest software development network — where he leads the efforts to encourage adoption of open source philosophies, making all levels of government better, one repository at a time.

Previously, Ben was a member of the inaugural class of Presidential Innovation Fellows where he served as entrepreneur in residence reimagining the role of technology in brokering the relationship between citizens and government. Before that, he was a Fellow in the Office of the US Chief Information Officer within the Executive Office of the President, where he was instrumental in drafting the President’s Digital Strategy and Open Data Policy, on the SoftWare Automation and Technology (SWAT) Team, the White House’s first and only agile development team. As a New Media Fellow in the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of the Managing Director, he played a central role in shaping the agency’s reimagined web presence. His paper, Towards a More Agile Government, was published in the Public Contract Law Journal, arguing that Federal IT Procurement should be more amenable to modern, agile development methods.

As an attorney passionate about the disruptive potential of technology, Ben holds a J.D. and an M.B.A. from the George Washington University and is a member of the DC Bar. When not trying to change the world, he enjoys tackling otherwise-impossible challenges to sharing information using nothing more than duct tape, version control, and occasionally a pack of bubblegum.


2:30pm–3:10pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Solve E145
Ben Balter (GitHub)
Open source isn't open source without a license. GitHub is the de facto hub for creating and sharing open source software, but how much of it is truly open? How has license usage changed over time? How does licensing effect contribution, reuse, and project evolution? Join Ben Balter and Tal Niv, two of GitHub's legals for a quantitative analysis of license usage across all of GitHub's 19M repos. Read more.