7950 Jones Branch Dr
Tysons, VA 22102
While working to bring public-private partnerships and the ingenuity of the private sector to the State Department, Thomas has also helped accelerate initiatives in his community, promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. In 2016, Thomas helped found and organize SmartPhilm Festival, a film festival dedicated solely to films shot on smartphones or other mobile devices. The festival has continued to provide a new platform for the global artistic and storytelling community, allowing them to document their own stories in a more accessible way. He also founded the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Chapter of the Awesome Foundation, an international network of philanthropists that provides small grants for projects relating to everything from technology and social media, to arts, innovation, and education. Thomas currently still serves as the Dean of the NOVA chapter.
To build and empower communities of innovators and creatives, Thomas also helped found Startfield, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to spur economic development. Encompassing programs like CoderDojo NOVA, a free coding and tech education program for youth, and Cool Code Awards, a regional coding competition for youth in the Northern Virginia area, Startfield seeks to attract and support the most vibrant talent and promising innovators and entrepreneurs in an effort to build a unique and passionate entrepreneurial and enterprising culture in the greater Northern Virginia region. Thomas currently still serves as the Board Chair for Startfield.
Aaron Black is the Director of Informatics at the Inova Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI), which is part of the Inova Health Care System in Northern Virginia. At ITMI, Aaron is leading a cross functional team of scientists, doctors and IT professionals to build a world-class data infrastructure for the institute's genomics research and clinical services – and ultimately for the purpose of translating genomics research for medical discoveries and improved patient care. He has helped architect and manage one of the world’s largest databases of biological, clinical and environmental data that has ever been collected on human subjects.
Previously, Aaron was the informatics manager and leader for the Biospecimen Core Resource at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Cancer Genome Atlas project (TCGA). He was co-architect building the flexible data model to store and access data from studies for 30+ cancer subtypes for clinical data from biobanks and academic institutions across five continents. As part of the TCGA network, he was a contributing author in scientific journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Aaron has spoken at many national IT, healthcare and scientific conferences across the country including the Consumer Electronics Conference (CES), Amazon Web Services Re:Invent, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Precision Medicine World Conference, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He has been featured in new articles in Healthcare IT News, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Alfred Grasso is president and CEO of The MITRE Corporation. He is responsible for developing and leading the organization’s overall strategy for its federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs). He also serves on MITRE’s Board of Trustees.
Mr. Grasso has held several leadership and management positions within MITRE since joining the company in 1986, culminating with his appointment as president and CEO in 2006. He previously was executive vice president and director of the Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence FFRDC, now known as the National Security Engineering Center (NSEC).
Mr. Grasso is dedicated to increasing opportunities for young people to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). He is an appointed member of the Defense Science Board. He is a member of the Stevens Institute Systems Engineering Research Center Advisory Board and a board member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the country’s largest technology council. Mr. Grasso also sits on the University of Virginia’s Department of Systems and Information Engineering Advisory Board and Howard University’s College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences Board of Visitors. In addition, he served as chairman of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association International’s Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014 and President of the Board of the National GEM Foundation.
Mr. Grasso and his wife, Michele, live in Oakton, Va., and are the proud parents of three daughters--Alessandra, Lindsay, and Stephanie.
An award-winning writer and author, Chapman has delivered more than 300 seminars and talks throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. From 2003-2010, he was the president of Publishers & Writers of San Diego (PWSD), a professional association with nearly 500 members and affiliates, and a regular instructor at the Independent Book Publishers Association University.
He began his formal education in publishing as editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper and concluded with a Bachelor's Degree in Publishing from George Mason University, earned with a 4.0 GPA. During this time, he also self-published his first book, landed his first book deal, and started his first publishing venture — all at the age of 21.
Professional highlight: Being chosen out of 548 applicants from all over the world to be part of a 15-person group coached by best-selling author and marketing mastermind Seth Godin at his office for one full week in 2014. He learned and continues to internalize Godin's mantra, "This might work; this might not work. Dance with the fear."
Chapman is the founder of Social Motion Publishing, a Herndon-based benefit corporation that is establishing a unique niche in cause-related books that promote social entrepreneurship. He also continues to serve on the board of PWSD and is the Director of Custom Books for Auras Design.
Boris Willis is Chief Artistic Officer of Boris Willis Moves and an Associate Professor of Experimental Game Design at George Mason University. He has performed with Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, Jacob’s Pillow’s Men Dancers and Streb. He has created video art for choreographer Sharon Mansur and for his blog danceaday.com. Willis has an MFA in Dance and Technology from The Ohio State University, a BFA in Dance from George Mason University and is a graduate of The NC School of the Arts. He is the recipient of a Kennedy Center Local Dance Commission and a Virginia Commission for the Arts Choreography Fellowship.
Holding a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Synthesis from Berklee College of Music and a Master's Degree in Music Composition from George Mason University, Matt Nolan has a holistic vision for music, art, movement, and light.
He is currently Assistant Professor of Game Sound and Music for George Mason University's Computer Game Design Program. He has Lectured at Tuft's University, George Mason University, and The Smithsonian Institute's Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.
He specializes in Serious games, Alternate controllers, Real-time MIDI, Digital Audio, Sound Design, Game Audio, Music Composition, Participatory Entertainment, and Participatory Education design, prototyping, and delivery. His programming and interactivity work has been used and performed at SICMF Seoul Korea , 2007 Florida Electro-Acoustic Music Festival at the University of Florida, Berklee College of Music, George Mason University's Center for the Arts, The Hylton Center for Performing Arts, New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) 2007 at the Columbia University Computer Music Center as part of NYC Electronic Arts Festival, EABD 2015, Noise Awareness Day 2010-2016, and his artwork has been shown in The Newtown Project : A Call to Arms for the Charles Krause Reporting Fine Art Gallery in Washington, DC as well as at The Phillips Collection in Washington DC.
Mr. Painter has been on the vanguard of cyber issues for over twenty five years. In his current role as the Secretary’s first Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Mr. Painter coordinates and leads the United States’ diplomatic efforts to advance an open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet and information infrastructure. He works closely with components across the Department, other agencies, the White House, the private sector and civil society to implement the President’s International Strategy for Cyberspace and ensures that U.S. foreign policy positions on cross-cutting cyber issues are fully synchronized. These issues include promoting norms of responsible state behavior and cyber stability, advancing cybersecurity, fighting cybercrime, promoting multi-stakeholder Internet governance and advancing Internet freedom.
Mr. Painter is a recognized leader in international cyber issues. He has represented the United States in numerous international fora, including chairing the cutting edge G8 High Tech Crime Subgroup from 2002-2012. He has worked with dozens of foreign governments in bilateral meetings and has been a frequent spokesperson and presenter on cyber issues around the globe. He is a recipient of the prestigious RSA Conference Award for Excellence in the Field of Public Policy (2016), the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Intelligence Community Legal Award (2008) and has been named to the “Federal 100” list, among other honors. Mr. Painter is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Cornell University.
Diana Sierra is a designer who believes good design is simple, resourceful, aspirational and responsive; but it’s even more important that design be inclusive. She believes every person has the right to feel ownership of products that fill him or her with pride and a sense of dignity. It was on this philosophy that she co-founded and now leads Be Girl, a start-up social enterprise dedicated to empowerment by design. After patenting the world's first adaptable menstrual underwear, her company is positioning itself to lead the global evolution toward sustainable and dignified menstrual management for all people, regardless of geography or socio-economic circumstances.
Building her career in industrial design, Sierra worked with various multinational companies and consultancy firms such as Nike, Panasonic and Curve ID. Prior to founding Be Girl, she worked in East Africa and South America on better designs for cook-stoves, agro-processing machines and soil testing devices. Design awards include the IDEA Gold in Design for Social Impact, Silver A' Design Awards and the Spark Awards. Her company is a Classy Award Finalist and a 2017 INDEX Award Nominee. Sierra holds a Master of Science degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Design from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She is an educator and activist in the movement to Democratize Design, and works with UNDP, Unreasonable Institute, Columbia University, SENA, among others, to teach how to bring good design to those who need it most.
Cal Newport is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age, Newport also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work. His most recent book, Deep Work, argues that focus is the new I.Q. in the modern workplace and that the ability to concentrate without distraction is becoming increasingly valuable. He previously wrote So Good They Can’t Ignore You, a book which debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice, and three popular books of unconventional advice for students.
Jason Green is an experienced entrepreneur, lawyer, and strategist that has focused his career to empower individuals and communities.
Green co-founded and serves as Senior Vice President for Business Development and General Counsel for SkillSmart, a technology company that uses skills to connect employers, job seekers, and education providers to increase transparency and reform the talent development pipeline.
Immediately prior to this endeavor, Green served as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to President Obama, where he advised on legal, economic and domestic policy matters. Prior to joining the White House Counsel’s Office, Green served as the National Voter Registration Director for the 2008 Obama for America general campaign, and held several leadership positions in battleground states during the 2008 primary campaign.
Green is currently directing a documentary exploring the historic community of Quince Orchard, Maryland and whether the unlikely merger of three racially-segregated churches in 1968 holds transferable lessons to how diverse communities can unite to preserve history and shape the future.
Green, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Yale Law School, serves on a number of local and national boards. These include the South Africa Washington International Program (SAWIP), the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Planning Committee, Per Scholas, and Heritage Montgomery. He also co-chairs the National Capital Regional Task Force addressing cybersecurity employment, and was a Documentary Fellow at Docs In Progress.
John Bailey has been upsetting people for years. He refuses to accept the assumption that the life of a blind person must be limited by their visual acuity. Blind since the age of eight, John has dramatically demonstrated his philosophy by walking across 1200 degree hot coals barefoot, touring Eastern Europe solo, and working with law enforcement on creating tools for the “War against Terror”. John Bailey believes that raising expectations raises achievement. He is Second Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia, President of the Fairfax Chapter of the NFBV, and former Chairman of the Virginia State Rehabilitation Council. John and his wife Laila spent weeks baby-proofing their home. They still had two beautiful children.
Michael Edson is a strategist and thought leader at the forefront of digital transformation in the cultural sector. Michael is the co-founder, associate director and head of digital at the UN Live—Museum for Humanity, a new institution being designed to reconnect humanity with the founding vision of the United Nations and catalyze global effort towards accomplishing its goals. Michael is also a Presidential Distinguished Fellow at the Council for Libraries and Information Resources (USA); he serves on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s OpenGLAM (Gallery, Library, Archive, and Museum) advisory board. Michael was formerly the Smithsonian Institution’s Director of Web and New Media Strategy and he was named a "Tech Titan: person to watch" by Washingtonian magazine.
Pages Matam is a multidimensional national touring artist & educator from Cameroon, Central Africa but currently residing in Washington D.C. Metro area. He is the current Director of Poetry Events for Busboys and Poets. A Callaloo Fellow, he is a Write Bloody author of The Heart of a Comet (2014), which won Best New Book 2014 from Beltway Poetry Quaterly, was a Teaching for Change bestseller, and received an honorable mention from the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival. A 2014 national poetry slam champion, he has passions in the field of education, violence and abuse trauma work, immigration reform and youth advocacy. He has been a featured artist and performer on Upworthy, Huffington, Okay Africa & Africa is Done Suffering, The Pentagon, the Kennedy Center, the Apollo Theater, BET Lyric Cafe, TV One’s Verses & Flow, The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Smithsonian African Art Festival. A proud gummy bear elitist, bowtie enthusiast, professional hugger and anime fanatic. When he takes stage – as a performer, educator, or activist – be prepared to be taken on an experience of cultural, socially conscious, and personal discovery unapologetic in its silly yet visceral and beautifully honest in its storytelling.
Sarah Fraser, host and entertainer, has spent a large part of the last decade on the airwaves of Washington, DC. She is the former co-host of the morning show Sarah, Ty and Mel on DC's 107.3 and the enormously popular The Kane Show on HOT99.5. In December 2015, Sarah launched her podcast, Hey Frase, which can be streamed or downloaded from iTunes and Podomatic, and streamed from SoundCloud. Sarah appears weekly on FOX 5's top-rated Good Day DC morning television program. Additionally, Sarah maintains an immensely popular blog on her website (www.heyfrase.com). She uses her various platforms to discuss inspirational stories, Mindful Living, and pop culture. Sarah resides in Arlington, VA.