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Encouraging Citizen Feedback and Employee Engagement: Two Case Studies

Peter Levin (Department of Veterans Affairs), Dan Munz (U.S. General Services Administration)
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Whether engaging citizens or helping solicit internal feedback, participation campaigns require the right tools and strategies. Hear directly from the GSA and Department of Veterans Affairs about two recent participation projects: the Open Government Directive for 24 cabinet-level agencies and the VA’s Employee Innovation Challenge.

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 Dan Munz

Dan Munz

U.S. General Services Administration

Dan Munz is a Public Dialogue Specialist at the GSA Center for New Media and Citizen Engagement. In this role, he acts as a “trail guide” for federal agencies, helping them navigate the landscape of citizen engagement tools and draw on best practices to build successful engagement strategies. Prior to working at GSA, Dan was a Senior Research Associate at the National Academy of Public Administration, where he helped found the Collaboration Project and conceived and executed large-scale online dialogues for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the 11-agency Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility. Dan also once spent a summer working at a children’s book warehouse. It didn’t teach him much about social media, but it was pretty cool.

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Comments

Picture of Joe Boutte
Joe Boutte
05/27/2010 7:14pm EDT

Very informative and lively session. Both speakers should be cloned throughout the government. Thanks Dan and Peter for your enthusiasm, energy, and humor.

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