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Drupal and Social Publishing Strategies for Meeting the Open Government Directive

Thomas Erickson (Acquia), Andrew Hoppin (New York State Senate), Kirsten Burgard (Department of Veterans Affairs), Rob Klause (Siteworx, Inc.)

Open government promises to change the way citizens connect and collaborate with government agencies and departments. True government 2.0 is defined by two way communication between constituents and agencies and perhaps most importantly a more transparent approach public policy and decision-making at even the lowest levels of government. As the social web continues to evolve and gain momentum, and agencies are tasked with meeting specific open government requirements, it’s up to departments to seek better ways to harness the power of web 2.0. Many are turning to innovative web platforms that foster participation, collaboration and innovation among the constituents at a more intimate level.

Thomas Erickson, CEO of Acquia, will kick-off this session with a 15 minute overview of Drupal’s achievements within government over the past year. Erickson will discuss how Drupal as web content management system bridges the gap between government agencies and citizens with features that encourage the sharing of ideas and information seamlessly through social media applications. Erickson will also discuss how Drupal uniquely addresses the specific requirements of the Open Government Directive and provides government departments with a secure and effective way of achieving transparency through social media. From there, Erickson will introduce three “lightning talks” featuring representatives from government agencies who will share their stories of how Drupal changed the way their sites embraced community and collaboration to achieve transparency.

Lightning talks will feature:

Rob Klause, Web Manager for Whitehouse.gov
Andrew Hoppin, CIO New York State Senate
Kirsten Burgard, Department of Veterans Affairs

Each lightning talk will outline a Drupal installation at a different level of government: federal, state and agency, and provide attendees with an understanding of both why Drupal was chosen as the web content management system as well as how the platform has fostered more collaboration and transparency on the agency/department’s website:

Discussion topics include:

• The importance of selecting an online platform that will encourage community involvement and aid in transparency

• How Drupal can be used by government agencies to build community websites to facilitate citizen engagement in public policy

• A discussion of security and reliability factors: how does Drupal meet specific government requirements?

• Drupal and the Open Government Directive: what do agencies and departments need to know? How does Drupal fit into broader best-practices to align with the initiative’s requirements?

Photo of Thomas  Erickson

Thomas Erickson

Acquia

Tom has over 25 years experience in software products and services. Most recently, he was CEO of Systinet Corporation, a privately held software company that provided a foundation for service oriented architectures (SOA) in Global 2000 companies. Prior to Systinet, Tom was the executive vice-president, international for webMethods, the fastest growing software company in the USA from 1998 to 2003.

Before webMethods, Thomas was President, Asia Pacific for the Baan Company. Tom enjoys spending time in Australia, snowboarding, and playing golf. Thomas Erickson earned his honors degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Photo of Andrew Hoppin

Andrew Hoppin

New York State Senate

Andrew Hoppin was appointed as the first ever Chief Information Officer for the New York State Senate in February 2009 with a mission to dramatically improve government transparency, citizen participation, and operational efficiency for the Senate through technology. The CIO’s Office works in three main realms: opening up the Senate’s legislative and administrative data for public access (for transparency), overhauling the Senate’s internal communications and collaboration infrastructure (for efficiency), and launching new Web 2.0 / social media technologies for the Senate (public participation).

The new NYSenate.gov website, launched in May, has been heralded as a leading example of the use of “Web 2.0” technologies by a legislature, inviting citizens to become creators of content on the site as well as consumers of content, and including interactive websites for every Senator and every Committee of the Senate.

Previously, Andrew co-founded the NASA CoLab program at NASA Ames Research Center, which aimed to increase efficiency and transparency at NASA by building new partnerships between NASA and external communities of practice such as the entrepreneurial technology community, the global open-source software movement, and constituents in the virtual world of “Second Life.”

Andrew has also founded several startup technology companies and has served as a strategy consultant, Advisor, or Board member for leading technology and political organizations such as the Craigslist Foundation, Netroots Nation (formerly Yearly Kos), the Space Generation Advisory Council and the New Organizing Institute.

Photo of Kirsten Burgard

Kirsten Burgard

Department of Veterans Affairs

Kirsten Burgard entered federal service as a loan specialist at the Cleveland Regional Loan Center (RLC), an office of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1997. Ms. Burgard moved to the St. Paul RLC in the winter of 1999 to assist in the implementation of a Quality Control team for home loan reviews. She was promoted to VA’s central office in the summer of 2000 to write VA loan policy. At Central Office, Ms. Burgard became involved in the Loan Guaranty division web presence, maintaining content for the site and recommending innovative solutions to meet the needs of veterans and lenders. In the spring of 2007, Ms. Burgard moved to the Office of Information and Technology (OI&T)to work in the office of IT Strategic Planning where she routinely provided gap analyses, managed the office’s web presence and developed material to report on the IT strategic plan’s measures and performance. Recently, due to her experience with Drupal (acquired through Drupal sites like UnionReview and the People’s Inaugural Ball), she was detailed to the General Services Administration to develop a web based application using the open source technology Drupal. Ms. Burgard has continued to provide experience, organizing and presentations on Drupal and the power of the Drupal community for government web development. Ms. Burgard currently serves as a program analyst in OI&T and provides Web based assistance to multiple offices.

Rob Klause

Siteworx, Inc.

Rob Klause brings seventeen years of experience in the management, design, and development of high profile, high traffic web properties and database and desktop applications within both the private and Federal sectors.

Currently the Open Source Practice Director at Siteworx, Rob is skilled in identifying the tools, infrastructure and business needs necessary to achieve client online goals.
Prior to joining Siteworx, Rob served as the Executive Office of the President Web Manager until December 2009. At the White House, Rob oversaw the transition of the President George W. Bush website to the National Archives, while simultaneously leading a successful launch of President Obama’s new WhiteHouse.gov at 12:05 PM on Inauguration Day.

Over the first year of the Obama Administration, Rob, working closely with the White House New Media Office, built an unmatched robust infrastructure to support record site traffic, multiple high-definition video streams, high levels of interactivity, and relaunched the site on an entirely open-source platform. As Web Manager, Rob led the ongoing planning, support and operations of the White House web properties and online citizen engagement, while directing the technology, budget, staff and time of a White House Web team of 20.

During an earlier engagement at the White House under President George W. Bush, Rob introduced new multimedia infrastructure, processes, and communications technology to the White House web site to reach a broader streaming-media audience. He managed multiple White House web properties,and redesigned WhiteHouse.gov and Results.gov web sites for the Bush Administration.

In between his two White House terms of service, Rob was Vice Pesident of Interactive Technology for Ogilvy Public Relations’ 360 Digital Influence Practice. While with Ogilvy, his team managed the technical design, programming, and quality assurance testing of the building and deployment of digital properties and projects for clients such as The Ford Motor Company, DuPont, the Centers for Disease Control, and Quaker Oats.

Rob has also spent several years leading software development groups with the Internet and network security companies CyberTrust (Verizon Business Unit) and Consul Risk Management, an IBM company. Over the course of his career, Rob has developed solutions and applications for the DOT, EPA, FEMA, and DoD.

Rob currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Tonya, and two children.

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Comments

Picture of Mark J. Levitt
Mark J. Levitt
06/03/2010 5:32pm EDT

@Mike, the slides are indeed up now!

mike gifford
05/25/2010 4:52pm EDT

This session looks great! Wish I was able to make it. Is there going to be video/audio available for those who weren’t able to make it in person this year?

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