Ben Balter is a product manager at GitHub, the world’s largest software development network. Previously, Ben served as GitHub’s government evangelist, leading the efforts to encourage government at all levels to adopt open source philosophies for code, for data, and for policy development. Prior to GitHub, 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; 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; served on the SoftWare Automation and Technology (SWAT) Team, the White House’s first and only Agile development team; and was a new media fellow in the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of the Managing Director. He published a paper, “Towards a More Agile Government,” in the Public Contract Law Journal, which argued that Federal IT procurement should be more amenable to modern, Agile development methods. Ben has been named one of the top 25 most influential people in government and technology and Fed 50’s disruptor of the year and was described by the US chief technology officer as one of “the baddest of the badass innovators.” He is also a winner of the Open Source People’s Choice Award. An attorney passionate about the disruptive potential of technology, Ben holds a JD and an MBA. 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.
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