Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka is headed to the White House for a year. Pahlka founded Code for America in 2009 as a way of pairing technology and software companies with cities that are struggling to bring services into the information age. Pahlka will serve as the White House’s latest deputy chief technology officer for government innovation, according to a post on the organization’s blog.
In a blog post on the Code For America site, Pahlka explained what she aims to do while working with the White House:
"During my year, I hope, as the CfA fellows do, to both give and get. I want to give whatever perspectives and experiences I have to offer, and I want to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to work in government, with all of its challenges and opportunities, because that experience is increasingly central to our work here. We may have started with a notion that people from the outside could make a difference, and we’ve seen that they do, but what we’ve learned is that the long term, sustainable change comes from harnessing the creativity and expertise of the people who work in government, and giving them tools to change the culture and the system from within. It’s out of a deep respect for the heroes and heroines in government whom I’ve met over the last three years that I’d like to do some of my own public service. When I go to collaborate with future local government partners, I want to be able to say that I know a little bit more about where they’re coming from and the environment they work in."
While Pahlka is at the White House, Code for America will be headed by chief programs officer Bob Sofman and chief of staff Abhi Nemani.