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Obama's StartUp Nation: Perspectives on Catalyzing Innovation Inside and Outside the Government
The past eight years have been a transformative time for entrepreneurship in the U.S., in part because of policies put in place by Pres. Barack Obama’s administration to encourage growth and innovation. Hear from three current and former federal officials who will offer insight into how the Obama Administration has made innovation a top priority and what this means for the future of entrepreneurship, inside and outside the government. Xavier Hughes (Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Dept. of Labor), Cheryl Martin (former Acting Director of ARPA-E at the U.S. Dept. of Energy) and moderator and participant Javier Saade (former U.S. Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator) will share insights gleaned from their careers working in the public and private sectors, the paths that led them to working in the Obama administration, and their thoughts on the future of innovation and entrepreneurship going forward.
This event is co-sponsored by Columbia College, Columbia Entrepreneurship, Columbia Law School, Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE), Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center.
Xavier Hughes is the Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor, where he oversees the research and development agenda for open government, the introduction of new technologies to enhance agency customer service, and the use of open data ecosystems to protect the public and encourage problem solving. As Chief Innovation Officer, Xavier leads the identification, evaluation and development of innovative business process and technology applications to improve DOL outcomes and simplify government operations. He is considered a leader in the area of open government and data liberation, having led the development and launch of several crowdsourcing data challenges covering worker safety and health, enforcement, labor statistics, disability employment, and equal pay. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Labor, Xavier worked for PRTM Management Consultants where acted as a senior advisor to U.S. Department of Homeland Security senior officials, and provided subject matter expertise to several private sector clients.
Dr. Cheryl Martin is a non-resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy. Dr. Martin recently founded Harwich Partners, LLC to work with public and private sector entities on energy technology adoption. She joined the Center directly from her role as Acting Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) at the United States Department of Energy where she also led the Technology-to-Market program, which helps breakthrough energy technologies succeed in the marketplace. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Dr. Martin was an Executive in Residence with the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Dr. Martin also spent 20 years with Rohm and Haas Company, starting her career as a Senior Scientist for the company’s Plastics Additives business. In 2000, Dr. Martin was named Director, Investor Relations where she was responsible for Rohm and Haas’ interactions and relationships with the investment community. She later became Director, Financial Planning, and took on the responsibility for the planning, forecasting and management reporting activities of the company. Most recently she had been the General Manager for the Paint and Coatings Materials business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Javier Saade was appointed by the President to be U.S. Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator, Office of Investment and Innovation. He led the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition programs. Javier is also currently an Executive-in-Residence at Columbia Technology Ventures and a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University. He holds a seat on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Committee on Small & Emerging Companies appointed by Chairwoman White. Key multiagency collaborations he led or was instrumental to included USPTO’s Fast-Track Intellectual Property, Advanced Manufacturing Investment, JOBS Act Education, Diverse Asset Management, Rural Investing, Social Innovation, Impact Investing, Clean Energy Investing, and STEM Entrepreneurship. Before joining the Obama administration, Javier was in the private sector and has over 20 years of global principal investing, general management, strategic consulting and entrepreneurial experience. He was Managing Director at The GEM Group and a Principal at Paradigm Ventures, a venture capital firm. He was also an institutional client advisor at Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world with about $160 billion in assets.