Aspen Wye Fel­lows at­tend White House brief­ing

Record Observer - - News -

QUEEN­STOWN — The Aspen Wye Fel­lows, a sup­port group for the Aspen In­sti­tute’s 1,000 acre Wye River cam­pus in Queen­stown, had a pri­vate White House Brief­ing on Wed­nes­day, March 23 with Me­gan J. Smith, Chief Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer of the United States and As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent.

Thirty five Aspen Wye Fel­lows drove from the East­ern Shore to The White House Com­plex to meet with Smith, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent of Google and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Plan­etOut, with two de­grees from the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy.

Smith dis­cussed the evo­lu­tion of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion in the U. S. in re­cent decades. She ad­dressed the U. S. gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to cre­ate a tech­no­log­i­callysavvy gov­ern­ment in­fra­struc­ture, of ef­forts un­der­way to re­think Amer­i­can ed­u­ca­tion in an age of high tech­nol­ogy, and of ef­forts to en­list some 70 coun­tries in open and col­lab­o­ra­tive tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion.

Smith spoke of 5.5 mil­lion new tech­nol­ogy jobs open in the coun­try, and the need to train qual­i­fied em­ploy­ees to fill them. She di­a­logued with the Fel­lows about en­cour­ag­ing en­trepreneurs and tech­nol­ogy star­tups, pro­vid­ing them with ven­ture cap­i­tal fund­ing, and trans­form­ing ed­u­ca­tion to pro­vide STEMori­ented em­ploy­ees.

The Aspen Wye Fel­lows were formed in 2006 to con­nect the Wye River cam­pus with East­ern Shore res­i­dents who are in­tel­lec­tu­ally cu­ri­ous in­di­vid­u­als in­ter­ested in mean­ing­ful di­a­logue with world thought lead­ers. The Fel­lows take part in an ex­ten­sive yearly pro­gram of re­cep­tions, di­a­logues, sem­i­nars and con­certs on the cam­pus; monthly ma­jor events in Wash­ing­ton; and op­por­tu­ni­ties to par­tic­i­pate at the Aspen In­sti­tute’s sum­mer events at its Aspen, Colorado cam­pus.

No­table speak­ers at the Wye River cam­pus have ranged from Queen Noor of Jor­dan to U.S. sec­re­taries of state, de­fense, at­tor­ney gen­eral, vet­er­ans af­fairs, home­land se­cu­rity and agri­cul­ture. Am­bas­sadors from Egypt, Mex­ico, Afghanistan and Aus­tria and U.S. am­bas­sadors to sev­eral coun­tries have joined the Fel­lows, along with noted au­thors such as Khalid Hos­seini, Wal­ter Isaacson and Cokie Roberts.

Lead­ers of U.S. gov­ern­ment de­part­ments in­clud­ing The White House, Federal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion, Na­tional Park Ser­vice, Gen­eral Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion, De­fense De­part­ment, Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency, and Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Arts have been among Fel­lows speak­ers, as have ma­jor jour­nal­ists, federal judges, univer­sity pres­i­dents, sci­en­tists, ex­plor­ers, se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cers, in­vest­ment ex­perts, and cul­tural and civil rights lead­ers.

For in­for­ma­tion on be­com­ing an Aspen Wye Fel­low, con­tact Ju­dith Price, Aspen Wye River Cam­pus Man­ager at judy. price@ as­penin­sti­tute. org or 410820- 5432.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Me­gan Smith, right, Chief Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer of the United States, dis­cusses the na­tion’s tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion with Philip Web­ster, Chair­man of the Aspen Wye Fel­lows, cen­ter, and the Aspen Wye Fel­lows at the White House com­plex.

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