Come to the summit a little early. Get settled in, meet new people, process your registration and listen in to the Welcoming Session. Here is a glance at what happens during this time:
8:00 – 9:00 Registration and Breakfast
8:00 – 9:00 Office Hours will be available to sign up for (sit one-on-one with a few of your favorite people – pick their brain and listen to their advice)
8:15 – 8:45 Take some time to warm up to things; literally! We will show you a few office stretches that can help you throughout your entire work life.
9:00 – 9:15 Summit Officially starts. Listen to Dave Uejio (YGL President) and Steve Ressler (GovLoop President) as they tell you how to best navigate the summit.
Jim Shelton is the assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, managing a portfolio that includes most of the Department’s competitive teacher quality, school choice and learning technology programs, housed in the Office of Innovation and Improvement.
Previously, he served as a program director for the education division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, managing the foundation’s national programs and work in the northeast region of the United States. Shelton has also been a partner and the East Coast lead for NewSchools Venture Fund and co-founded LearnNow, a school management company that later was acquired by Edison Schools. He spent over four years as a senior management consultant with McKinsey & Company in Atlanta, Ga., where he advised CEOs and other executives on issues related to corporate strategy, business development, organizational design, and operational effectiveness. Upon leaving McKinsey, he joined Knowledge Universe, Inc., where he launched, acquired and operated education-related businesses.
Shelton holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Atlanta’s Morehouse College as well as master’s degrees in business administration and education from Stanford University.
Shelton currently resides in his hometown, Washington, D.C., with his wife, Sonia, and two sons, Justice and Jameson.
Linda Y. Cureton
NASA Chief Information Officer
Last Updated: March 5, 2013
Linda Y. Cureton is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As NASA CIO, she provides the requisite leadership to transform the management of information technology (IT) capabilities and services to support and enable NASA’s mission. She ensures that the Agency’s information resource management (IRM) strategy is in alignment with NASA’s vision, mission, and strategic goals. Accordingly, Ms. Cureton ensures the development of integrated IRM strategies, including standards, policies, NASA Enterprise Architecture, IT security, management, and operations. She has the responsibility, authority and accountability for ensuring that NASA’s information assets are selected, controlled and evaluated consistent with federal policies, procedures, and legislation.
Ms. Cureton was appointed as the NASA CIO in September 2009. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Linda Y. Cureton served as the CIO of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and led the Information Technology and Communications Directorate. As the GSFC CIO, Ms. Cureton was responsible for ensuring that GSFC’s information assets are acquired and managed consistent with Agency and Federal Government policies. She was responsible for ensuring that the Center’s Information Technology strategy aligns with NASA’s vision, mission, and strategic goals.
Prior to her arrival at GSFC, Ms. Cureton was the Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and led the Office of Science and Technology as Deputy Assistant Director. The Office of Science and Technology is responsible for providing leadership in the innovative and efficient application of science and technology used to collect, clarify, and communicate information needed to reduce violent crime, collect revenue and protect the public. As the ATF Deputy CIO, she was responsible for ensuring that the use of Information Technology for the Bureau’s mission and business requirements fulfill customer and stakeholder needs.
Previously, Ms. Cureton served in executive positions at the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice.
As a strong advocate for the practical application of technology, she has served as a member of organizations such as the Government Information Technology Investment Council, the American Council for Technology, and Women in Technology.
Ms. Cureton earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Howard University in 1980 graduating magna cum laude with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Latin. She also received a Master of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1994, and a Post-Master’s Advanced Certificate in Applied Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1996. She performed extensive research in numerical analysis and has been published in the “Journal of Sound and Vibration.”
She currently resides in Maryland with her husband and mother.
All government leaders need to know the basics of acquisitions in order to get the most out of their budget. In this session, we will provide an acquisition overview for non-acquisition professionals. All the basics you need to know to buy smart and get services delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible – understanding the FAR, how to use GWACs and IDIQs, set-asides and sole sourced, and proper contract oversight and monitoring.
Your personal brand – who you are, personally and professionally – starts on the inside but manifests in everything from the way you look, to how you carry yourself, to how you communicate… During this fun and engaging session, Ben Sands, founder of Regret Free Life, will discuss how to define and communicate a personal brand that will be remembered – for the right reasons. The discussion will cover everything from how to dress and carry yourself in a professional meeting – to crafting the perfect elevator pitch and nailing the delivery. Sands will also share strategies for translating your “you” into a compelling online and social media brand, as well.
Ben Sands, Founder, Regret Free Life
Ben graduated from Duke in 2000 with a degree in Public Policy Studies. At the advice of a much-respected professor, following college graduation Ben went on to Harvard’s “Radcliffe Publishing Course” – to pursue his love for writing and reading.
Since then, Ben has worked as a Web Developer, Professional Ski Instructor, Sales Executive, and Consultant to Fortune 500 CFOs. He has launched three different companies.
Read more about Ben on his website.
External and internal pressures drive so much of what we do or don’t do. This session will explore pressures in organizations and in each of us as individuals. Knowing what prompts these pressures, and what emotions they trigger, can help identify barriers to change and jump-start major transformations. Positive pressures can help tasks get accomplished more quickly and encourage collaborations. If we recognize what pressures either prevent or trigger beneficial actions, we can use such opportunities to encourage global good. This session will include Senior Executives in dialogue with Young Government Leaders on each other’s perspectives. Please join us in the discussion!
Consulting provides practical frameworks to analyze and propose solutions to any problem. In this session, we will learn the methodologies and frameworks from top-tier firms such as Boston Consulting Group. You will walk away learning how to consult like an expert and provide the same solutions to government without the costs.
Government must leverage new technology to solve mission needs in a more efficient manner. In this session, we will focus on 5 tech trends – mobile, cloud, social media, digital government, and analytics – and how they are reshaping government services and how you can leverage them in your agency.
The Scarcity Solution
Solving problems takes creativity, especially in an era of diminished resources and evaporating budgets. One of the most creative people you have ever met is you – a few decades ago. Thinking like a kid can spur innovation, uncover unexpected solutions and make the most mundane work fun.
Jeff Freeland Nelson is a dad who quit his job leading public affairs for American Public Media, one of America’s largest public broadcasters, to start a toy company. In less than a year, Jeff has built Play from Scratch into a successful business that inspires creativity, imagination and wonder in children and adults through open-ended play with sustainable materials.
Jeff began his career as technical director at the Minnesota Children’s Museum where he spent thousands of hours learning from kids at play. Later, Jeff was appointed director of cultural development for the City of Saint Paul and managing director of McNally Smith College. He was the founder and executive director of the Saint Paul Arts & Culture Partnership, a collaboration of 40 regional arts organizations.
Jeff was the recipient of the 2010 Catalytic Leader Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, is a former fellow of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the German Marshall Fund and received a prestigious Leadership Fellowship from the Bush Foundation. Jeff was recently named one of the Twin Cities’ most successful young professionals by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. He holds a bachelors degree from Hamline University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Jeff is married to writer and doula Alisa Blackwood and the father of two amazing kids. He is also a part-time carpenter, designer, electrician, musician, sculptor, painter and restorer of old barns.
Learn more on his website.
Government project managers are typically given a great deal of responsibility over their project and yet, we often don’t see project managers as change agents in government. Come hear how some project managers have taken this responsibility and are helping lead important change efforts in government by using agile methods to quickly deliver solutions.
This session will cover best practices, lessons learned and examples of how to create innovation in government from White House Innovation Fellows. Topics will include: navigating bureaucracy, building a support team, getting buy-in, identifying the small wins, and how to achieve success in a slow moving environment.
It’s time to rethink diversity. GovLab’s research on diversity of thought will show how harnessing the connections between individuals and their ideas can help improve problem solving, mitigate the risk of overlooking critical information, and increase the opportunity for innovation in their organizations.
Are you doing your part in helping to meet the vision of a smarter, leaner, more effective government? Do you know how to tap into or build an arsenal of tools and solutions to make your work environment more collaborative, innovative and productive? How do you build the right mix of technical and interpersonal skills needed to empower improved performance in the Federal workforce? Attend this session to sharpen your tech savviness and increase your understanding of the change management techniques that are needed to drive change in your work environment.
When presenting, explaining or talking with a point to influence a decision, a stakeholder or your boss you should take notes from IDEO and their storytelling techniques. You’ll learn to make facts more human, engage your audience and strike them with empathy, put a sales spin on your ideas and so much more.
Each of us has a boss. Even the President has the U.S. public which elected her or him into office. Knowing what your boss, or bosses plural, are looking for can help you identify opportunities to provide value beyond explicitly requested deliverables. A good boss knows to listen to new insights and ideas from their employees, particularly if pitched at the right time and right place. This session will include Senior Executives in dialogue with Young Government Leaders on each other’s perspectives related to leadership, mentoring, and professional responsibilities. Bring your thoughts and ideas to the discussion!
Ninety percent of our day-to-day job responsibilities require excellent communication, but few of us probably feel as if we manage our communications effectively. In this 45-minute session, you will explore the 4-5 most common modes of communication and engage with the facilitator and other participants to identify the best mode to use in various scenarios…and how to use each of those modes in order to achieve the right impact.
“Just follow the money” – To get anything done in government, you need to understand how the money flows so you can get resources for your projects. Yet, the budget process can be confusing. You are often planning multiple years in advance and then you have the difference between appropriations, apportionments, and allotments, not to mention how it all relates to the debt discussion. In this session, we’ll provide the foundation of what you need to know about the budget process.
To achieve a successful career government, no one is going to do it for you – you need to manage your own career. In this session, government leader Frank Digiammarino walks the audience through his career framework which provides a foundation to thinking through key decisions and building the skills to be the successful leader.
Frank Digiammarino is a former White House Official with a proven track record of leading organizations and solving difficult problems. Frank has deep experience in growing organizations and leading complex initiatives to success. A strategic thinker, Frank provides trusted advice to senior government executives that lead to successful change and increased organization performance.
Learn about “working with political appointees.” Schedule C appointees are a regular thing for all Administrations. It seems, civilians spend a lot of time teaching schedule c’s on how to assimilate with the civilian workforce but not the other way around. This session will be particularly for those who are interested in climbing the ranks to serve in leadership positions, to understand what it means to serve all Administrations regardless of the party in place and learning how to straddle the line of helping to support and advance an Administration priority without getting into the “politics.”
You’re a smart up and comer with a lot of good ideas, but as long as the ideas stay in your head they don’t change anything. In this session you’ll learn practical tips for sharing your ideas with others through presentations. We’ll cover selection and use of presentation tools as well as basic public speaking and persuasion tips.
The challenges of the 21st century not only cut across multiple agencies, they also cut across the lines between the public vs. the private sectors. At the same time, the original design of our government was not intended to collaborate well across multiple organizations – but that doesn’t mean we can’t rethink and evolve its design to address these challenges. Cybersecurity policies, national innovation policies, evolving intellectual property to digital, and several other topics require us to take U.S. Public-Private Partnerships to the next level. Together we can help our nation, as a whole, address 21st century challenges together. Bring your hot topics to the discussion!
Svante Myrick represents the Fourth Ward, the City of Ithaca’s East Hill area. The most diverse and densely populated ward in the city, its residents reside in the Collegetown commercial district, Cornell’s West Campus residences, and the beautiful and historic neighborhoods of East Hill.
Svante is a passionate youth advocate and, in 2008, his first year in office, Svante chaired the committee to create the Ithaca Youth Council. In 2008 he also chaired the Collegetown Vision Implementation Committee, which led to the creation and endorsement of a master plan for promoting development while still preserving neighborhoods in Collegetown.
Raised by a single mother along with his three siblings, Svante saw hard work modeled from a young age. Working multiple jobs, his mother’s tenacious spirit and commitment allowed her children the comfort and security necessary for them to succeed.
Svante attended Cornell University where he studied Communication. He was a three-year board member for REACH (Raising Education Attainment Challenge), where he tutored underserved young people in Ithaca for eight semesters and wrote editorials for the Cornell Daily Sun. Svante worked numerous jobs to help pay his way through college and was also inducted into a number of honor societies.
Since graduating, Svante has continued working with the youth of Ithaca as an apprenticeship coordinator with The Learning Web in Ithaca.
Svante also served as the Assistant Director of Student and Young Alumni Programs for Cornell University before resigning his position to run for Mayor.
In his spare time, Svante enjoys speaking to youth groups around the state about achievement, civic engagement and community building. He is also an avid reader and sports enthusiast who follows the Giants, Yankees and (with no small amount of exasperation) the New York Knicks.
Come to the summit a little early. Get settled in, meet new people, get some breakfast in your system. Here is a glance at what happens during this time:
8:00 – 9:00 Registration and Breakfast
8:00 – 9:00 Office Hours will be available to sign up for (sit one-on-one with a few of your favorite people – pick their brain and listen to their advice)
8:15 – 8:45 Take some time to warm up to things; literally! We will show you a few office stretches that can help you throughout your entire work life.
9:00 – 9:15 The day begins with a kick ice breaker – get you moving and mingling with your peers at the summit!
Jonny Dorsey is a passionate social entrepreneur committed to harnessing millennial talent to tackle the world’s biggest problems. Most recently Jonny co-founded Global Health Corps, a fellowship committed to mobilizing a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. Global Health Corps provides opportunities for young professionals from diverse backgrounds to work on the frontlines of the fight for global health equity in year-long fellowships. Fellows have a measurable impact on the health of the communities in which they work, and draw upon that experience and the GHC alumni network to deepen their impact throughout their careers. Global Health Corps has placed 126 young leaders so far, and aims to place 500 a year. Jonny received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 2009 and a Draper Richards Fellowship in 2010 to support his work with Global Health Corps.
Prior to working with GHC, Jonny co-founded a student campaign to fight AIDS: FACE AIDS. FACE AIDS harnesses young people’s passion for social change and equips them with the skills, resources, and community to fight HIV/AIDS and promote global health equity now and throughout their lives. FACE AIDS also empower HIV-affected youth in impoverished communities with access to credit, savings, and business skills training, helping to limit HIV/AIDS’ devastating impact on the social and economic development of communities. To date FACE AIDS has been active on more than 200 college and high school campuses, raised $2.3 million for comprehensive health care, and served hundreds of individual directly in Zambia and Rwanda. Jonny has also spent time at the Irvine Foundation, in the Washington DC Office of Congressman Ed Markey, and volunteered on the Obama Campaign and as an organizer against California Proposition 8.
Jonny Dorsey graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology and a concentration in Addressing Health Disparities in 2009. During his time at Stanford, Jonny was honored with the Deans’ Award for Academic Achievement, was a Leadership Fellow at the Haas Center for Public Service, and served on The Board of Trustees Committee on Development. In 2008, Jonny served as the President of the student body, and used his tenure to launch a tutoring program for the children of Stanford staff, open a campus “green store”, address sexual assault, and host the Stanford Service Summit.
Jonny is currently pursuing an MPA at The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he is a Zuckerman Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership. Next year he will begin a MBA at Stanford University. Jonny currently serves on the Boards of Directors of FACE AIDS, Global Health Corps, and the Riekes Center, a mentoring program in his home community in Northern California.
Evan Ryan, Assistant to the Vice President and Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
Evan Ryan is Assistant to the Vice President and Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. Ms. Ryan was Deputy Campaign Manager for Biden for President in the 2008 Presidential cycle. Following the campaign, Ms. Ryan was a consultant for the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict. She served on the White House staff from 1994-2000, working for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Ryan served on the board of a conflict management NGO, PeacePlayers International, from 2003-2008. In 2005, Ms. Ryan was Deputy Chair for the Governance track of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
Ms. Ryan received a B.A. in political science from Boston College. In May 2006, Ms. Ryan received a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
The effort it takes to combine work and the rest of life is often described as balancing, blending, juggling, or just getting by. While some people and organizations have found successful strategies for meeting a full range of work and life needs, many struggle to find effective and satisfying solutions. Technology has made people increasingly accessible, allowing (or forcing) us to attend to multiple areas of life at any given time. At work, the pressure to perform is great, and on the home front, family support systems are often limited. As a result, we race to keep up with today’s information, activities, and priorities. All this equals chronic stress – and we are less productive on all fronts.
Government agencies are using the power of analytics to understand government performance as well as analyze key trends, catch fraud, and drive better citizen engagement. In this session, you will learn tips on using data to effectively do your job better. Learn key analytical strategies that will help you become an analytical star within your agency or organization.
Want to create change in your organization, but lack authority, resources, or a way to get started? This session will cover the basics of starting bottom-up transformation. A panel from HUD’s Under 5 community will discuss how you and your peers can become a community of changemakers, win executive sponsorship, and manage grass-roots change projects to make your agency and the federal government more responsive, effective, and fun.
To improve how government delivers customer service, agencies must understand how customer experiences work, how expectations are set and met, and how experiences are perceived and remembered. This hands-on session will walk you through an exercise called, journey mapping, which is a design thinking centered process used to help define the relationships you have with your customers. It will present the foundations for how meaningful and valuable experiences are defined, designed, and developed for government entities.
We all have dealt with a difficult colleague – whether a personality clash or performance issue. You can’t just ignore the issue – the problem needs to be solved in order to deliver great work for the public. In this session, you will learn practical tips on dealing with difficult colleagues.
Networking is a critical function in a successful career, and every individual must carefully select their networking opportunities to maximize their returns. This session will discuss the importance of networking and how to use this tool to grow and sustain your personal network as well as provide insights on using your networking tool successfully.
Geoff Smart is a CEO, bestselling author, and social entrepreneur whose mission is to create, communicate, and put into practice useful ideas about leadership.
Geoff serves as Chairman & CEO of ghSMART. ghSMART is a leadership firm for CEOs and investors, which Geoff founded in 1995. The firm was named one the “world’s top firms” in Broderick’s The Art of Managing Professional Services. It is the subject of two Harvard Business School Cases that are taught to all 900 first-year MBA students, titled “ghSMART & Co.: Pioneering in Professional Services.”
Geoff is co-author, with his colleague Randy Street, of the New York Times bestselling book Who: The A Method for Hiring. Who is one of the most-acclaimed books in the world on the topic of hiring leaders, which The Wall Street Journal calls “the most important aspect of business.” Shanghai Daily named Who a “Top 5 Business Book in China” and Canada’s Globe and Mail named it the “#1 Best Business and Management Book of 2009.” Geoff is also author of Leadocracy: Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government. In the 1990s, he co-created the Topgrading philosophy of talent management.
As a social entrepreneur, Geoff is the Founding Chairman of two not-for-profit organizations. SMARTKids Leadership Program™ is a 501c3 not-for-profit foundation that provides a customized program of 10 years of leadership tutoring and a $100,000 scholarship to top students with leadership potential from low-income communities. Secondly, The Leaders Initiative™ seeks to elevate humanity by identifying, developing, and deploying society’s greatest leaders into government. Geoff and his ghSMART colleagues also provide pro bono leadership advisory services to leaders in the fields of education, healthcare, and government to help them amplify their positive impact on the world.
Geoff earned a B.A. in Economics with Honors from Northwestern University, an M.A., and a Ph.D. in Psychology with emphasis in Leadership from Claremont Graduate University, where he was mentored by Professor Peter F. Drucker. Geoff was elected to Sigma Xi, the honorary society for holders of doctoral degrees, and is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
There are 6 sessions taking place simultaneously. Help us configure the right room size for each session – as it will be based on popularity. Please take this super quick poll.
Are you a new manager? Planning to be a manager soon? Learn best practices from the Partnership for Public Service on how to manage in a modern world—managing projects and day-to-day tasks while at the same time leading a team. Learn tips on coaching and motivating people, adapting your leadership style to the needs of your colleagues, and delegating effectively to your employees and peers.
Public sector problems are multi-jurisdiction and require coordination between federal, state, local, and private sector leaders. There are different buckets of money that must be used and distributed, team members from different levels that must work together, while at same time need to report back to different stakeholders. Come to the sessions to hear lessons from Superstorm Sandy on how to lead successful cross-government collaboration.
How do agencies communicate in an era of social media and smartphones? Come to this session to hear case studies of agencies how they are getting out their messages across Facebook, Twitter, and mobile devices to deliver mission value in a cost-effective manner. We will also discuss the recent Digital Government Strategy and how agencies are meeting mandates around mobile-first and APIs.
As a government leader, you’ll eventually need to recruit, assess, and managing people. Come to this session to learn the 101 on important HR rules you need to follow on hiring, assessing, and managing so you don’t get in trouble. And also what the rules really say and best practices on getting star players, growing a great team, and discipline when needed.
Most of us associate organizational success with achieving goals. Fair enough. But how do you know if your goals are the right ones? How can we be sure our goals — and the time, attention, and resources we dedicate to achieving them – are connected to our strategy? How can we measure tangible progress toward achieving an intangible mission? The “Theory of Change” Model of strategic planning answers these questions. It can also help you to decide where to allocate resources or cut them, how to eliminate distractions, and show everyone on your team his or her role in achieving not only organizational goals, but meaningful change.
The world of insurance and financial planning can be a confusing place. With so many choices on health insurance, investing, and retirement planning you may find yourself more than a little turned around. Come learn about all the extra benefits that the federal government offers you.
Jonathan Greenblatt is Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Domestic Policy Council. In this role, he is leading the Office’s efforts to leverage human capital and financial capital to elevate community solutions. This portfolio includes issues such as national service, civic engagement, impact investing, and social enterprise.
Before joining the White House, Jonathan founded the Impact Economy Initiative at the Aspen Institute, a program focused on the nexus of public policy and impact investing. He served as an operating partner at Satori Capital, a private equity firm focused on conscious capitalism, and was an active angel investor. He also served as a member of the faculty at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA where he developed and taught its coursework on social entrepreneurship.
Jonathan has been described as a serial social entrepreneur. Among his accomplishments, Jonathan co-founded Ethos Brands, the business that launched Ethos Water, the premium bottled water that helps children around the world get clean water. In 2005, Starbucks Coffee Company acquired Ethos Water, making it one of only a handful of non-coffee businesses the company has purchased in its 40 year history. Following the acquisition, Jonathan served as Starbucks Vice President of Global Consumer Products, scaling Ethos across the US. Greenblatt also co-founded Ethos International and served on the board of directors of the Starbucks Foundation where he developed Ethos’ global investment strategy that has invested millions of dollars to bring clean water to communities in need around the world, including Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Honduras, India and Kenya.
Jonathan also founded All for Good (AFG), the open source platform developed to enable more Americans to serve. AFG is the largest aggregation of volunteer opportunities on the web and is supported by a coalition of leading companies, nonprofits and government agencies, all of whom shared a vision of using open data to increase the number of Americans that participate in service and volunteerism. In 2011, AFG was acquired by the Points of Light Institute.
Jonathan also formerly served as CEO of GOOD Worldwide. He led its transition from a publishing company to a diversified media company. Its products include the popular website GOOD.Is and the award-winning GOOD Magazine.
In addition to these operating roles, Jonathan has been an active board member of numerous businesses and nonprofit organizations. He also served as an aide in the Clinton White House and the Department of Commerce where he developed international economic policy with a focus on emerging markets and post-conflict economies. Before joining the Clinton Administration, Greenblatt worked in Little Rock, Arkansas on Gov. Bill Clinton’s first successful Presidential campaign in 1992.
Greenblatt earned an MBA at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and graduated cum laude with a BA from Tufts University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly.
Ryan Allis is a technology entrepreneur and investor. Ryan was the Co-Founder and CEO of iContact from 2003 until it was acquired in February 2012 by Vocus (NASDAQ:VOCS) for $169M. iContact grew from its start in 2003 to 300 employees, 70,000 customers, and 1 million users, reaching the INC 500 list three times. iContact used the 4-1s CSR model to give 1% of its payroll, equity, employee time, and product back to the community.
Today, Ryan is the CEO of Connect.com, a company focused on building touch software that helps you make the most of your relationships. Ryan is also the founder of Virante, a digital marketing agency based Raleigh, NC, an active angel investor with investments to date in Ark.com, Soma Water, Pengo Loans, VillageEnergy, Hydros Water, ThinkImpact, Bold Academy, EvoApp, Unblab (Sold to AOL), CityPockets, SpringMetrics, and School House. Ryan is the author of a book on entrepreneurship called Zero to One Million (McGraw-Hill, 2008) which reached #11 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list and #2 on the Amazon.com bestseller list. He is currently working on a new book called The Innovators (2013).
Ryan is a board member of Nourish.org which uses social entrepreneurship as a tool to end global poverty. Nourish teaches entrepreneurial skills to college students and uses the profits from student businesses to partner with and invest in social entrepreneurs and community-based organizations in the developing world focused on sustainable development and eliminating extreme poverty and hunger in our lifetime.
Ryan was named in 2006 as one of BusinessWeek’s 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25. In 2008 he was named as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Carolinas, In 2009 he was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the U.S. Junior Chamber. In 2010 he was named as part of the 30 Under 30 List By INC Magazine. Ryan currently serves as a member of the UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council which is advising the UN Foundation on expanding how it uses digital marketing to bring awareness to its humanitarian campaigns.
Ryan attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was an economics major and a Blanchard Scholar. Ryan is a 2011 graduate of the EO/MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program. He is currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School.