Earlier this week, I joined several of our Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leaders for valuable teaching and learning opportunities in Chicago. First, members of the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer established a procurement innovation booth at the National Contract Management Association’s World Congress. The booth featured our procurement innovation board, were we invited anyone and everyone to contribute their ideas about improving the Department’s acquisition processes. We may incorporate some of these ideas into future Procurement Innovation Lab projects. Also during the World Congress, Policy and Acquisition Workforce Executive Director Laura Auletta and I led a breakout session where we discussed the great strides DHS is making in learning from procurement innovation projects. Later that day, I joined leaders from our DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program for a tour of Chicago’s 1871 center. This center was created to support Chicago’s digital startup community. It has since become a hub for the city’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Finally, we participated in a roundtable discussion sponsored by TechNexus. During the meeting, the DHS Chief Technology Officer, Science & Technology Directorate representatives, and I joined entrepreneurs and investors in a lively discussion about how industry and government can work together to innovate when solving homeland security challenges. Overall, the trip was an outstanding success and I want to thank everyone involved for making it so. I look forward to adopting many of the great ideas we found in Chicago!
July 28, 2017