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Leaders of Digital Transformation (CMS, NASA, Census)
February 18 @ 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Misu Tasnim, Executive Director of Digital Service, HHS-United States Digital Service*
Misu Tasnim is the Executive Director of the U.S. Digital Service at the Department of Health and Human Services. In this role she is responsible for leading digital modernization efforts at CMS which promote interoperability and public access to health data. Most recently she has been leading efforts to modernize the Medicare payment system. Misu has worked with CMS since 2013 and is passionate about using technology to improve healthcare.
Prior to CMS, Misu served as an engineer at NASA and the IRS, on flight software, security engineering, and systems architecture. She then turned her focus to small businesses and startups, lending to a breadth of experience in government procurement, building effective teams, and scaling modern software development practices. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Mamta Patel Nagaraja, Deputy Director, Division of Science Engagement and Partnerships for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), NASA
Dr. Mamta Patel Nagaraja currently works at NASA Headquarters as the deputy director for the Division of Science Engagement and Partnerships for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD). In this role, Dr. Nagaraja leads the overall strategy for external information technology, executive communications and strategic messaging, science mission graphic visualizations, digital media, and Science in Spanish. She also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Catholic University of America. Prior to this position, she was the lead mechanical engineer for instrument technology design for a proposed planetary mission to Venus and a science operations engineer for the LADEE mission to the Moon at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. Previously, she trained astronauts who flew aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle and International Space Station and supported their missions as a flight operations engineer in the Mission Control Center at NASA Johnson Space Center as well as leading the Women@NASA project. Among notable recognitions, in 2013 and 2017, Dr. Nagaraja was selected for a rare interview opportunity to become an astronaut. Dr. Nagaraja holds a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, a master of science in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a doctor of philosophy in bioengineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology with dissertation research performed at the Emory University School of Medicine. Originally from Texas, she now lives in the Washington D.C. metro area with her husband and two children. She comes from a large family, with four siblings and dedicated, selfless parents.
Zach Whitman, PhD. Chief Data Officer, U.S. Census Bureau
Dr. Zach Whitman joined the U.S. Census Bureau as the Chief Data Officer in July 2016 to promote the use of Census data in the public and commercial sectors. He is currently leading the development of the U.S. Census Bureau’s enterprise data dissemination strategy and platform, accessible at data.census.gov. His prior experience at the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, and Transportation included developing data dissemination platforms, civic data engagement events for federal agencies, and public-private partnerships. His mission is to promote the utility and interoperability of governmental open data through improved data discovery and accessibility.
* Pending agency approval