Presidential Innovation Fellows made permanent through bipartisan TALENT Act

Photo: White House/Pete Souza
Photo: White House/Pete Souza

Re-posted from the Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation

As of 20 January, President Obama signed the TALENT Act of 2017 (H.R.39) into law as one of his last acts as President.

This bill was a bipartisan effort supported by a majority of Republicans and Democrats in both the Senate and House. The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program is a nonpartisan program designed to  “attract the brightest minds skilled in technology or innovative practices…to serve a tour of duty” to effect change in the government for the betterment of the people. There is and will always be a pressing need for innovation within the federal government, and through the PIF program, that innovation will endure.

The passing of H.R. 39 means that Executive Order No. 13704, which originally created the program, will continue to be an important part of the government that “enable[s] exceptional individuals with proven track records to serve time-limited appointments in executive agencies to address some of the nation’s most significant challenges and improve existing government efforts that would particularly benefit from expertise using innovative techniques and technology”.

Since 2012, the Presidential Innovation Fellows have tackled these challenges:

… and the list continues to grow.

With the TALENT Act of 2017 strongly supported by both the House and the Senate, future generations of innovators who might not have originally worked in the government will bring new ideas, developments, and technologies to the government in ways that can improve the lives of the American people.  You can learn more about the PIF program at

To contact alumni of the program or to learn more about about the experience and what the alumni are doing now, contact the Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation. Visit or email .

About Robert L. Read

Robert L. Read helped start 18F and 18F Consulting. He wrote the essay “How to be a Programmer.” Rob has a PhD and speaks Esperanto fluently. He is currently creating a charity for public open-source invention, Public Invention for All Humanity (PIFAH).


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