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Presidential Innovation Fellows Tackle Federal AI in New Cohort

The cohort will support agency leadership across government to implement AI in accordance with the October White House executive order. 

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Eleven experts from leading startups and tech companies make up the first PIF AI cohort. Photo Credit: DC Studio/

The General Services Administration (GSA) launched its first cohort of Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) exclusively focused on guiding AI implementation, the agency announced on June 17. The AI-specific class is the second PIF class of 2024.

Eleven experts from leading tech companies, startups and organizations make up the group, serving as strategic senior advisors to agency leadership including the departments of Justice, State and Energy. The fellows will begin a yearlong tour of duty to meet government-wide needs specific to AI development and implementation, according to a GSA press release.

“The selected applicants join with expertise across disciplines including product, software, data, design and digital strategy, alongside expertise in the artificial intelligence space,” a GSA spokesperson told GovCIO Media & Research. “Their responsibilities include supporting the responsible use of AI to address the energy and climate crises, exploring AI capabilities for improving the healthcare system and service delivery and evaluating how AI can drive transparency and increase access in mortgage lending.”

Fellows will also work on “maximizing AI’s potential to increase access to justice while minimizing risk of consumer harm, and harnessing data and AI to enhance the electric grid infrastructure to enable the provision of clean, affordable, reliable, resilient and secure electric power to all Americans,” the release said.

“We look forward to welcoming the amazing expertise and innovative ideas the PIFs will bring on how to maximize the potential benefits of AI while mitigating the potential risks,” said Office of Management and Budget Deputy Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Dominic Mancini. “The collaboration between these fellows and the agencies where they will serve exemplifies the society-wide effort that responsible use of AI demands.”

James Pavur, a PIF for the AI cohort set to serve at the State Department, said the class holds great promise.

“The breakthroughs we’re making in computing and artificial intelligence are super-exciting and, in my opinion, substantively different from prior revolutions in technology,” he said. “I believe government is the place where technologists have the greatest chance of helping those developments bring equitable and safe benefits to all people.”

According to GSA, the agency launched recruitment of the AI cohort in response to the Biden administration’s AI executive order, which identifies the PIF program as a federal talent pipeline to bring high-value talent into government to support the AI Talent Surge.

“Between our Presidential Innovation Fellows program, the U.S. Digital Corps and the roles we have in our Technology Transformation Services and GSA IT, we’re bringing more tech talent into government than ever before,” the GSA spokesperson told GovCIO Media & Research. “In fact, our call for applications for our AI-focused fellowships received more than 2,500 applications. PIF and Digital Corps are on track to hire over 100 technologists in 2024 and will collectively have over 200 total active fellows, including over 120 technologists in AI and AI-enabling roles, supporting our agency partners.”

“All of our fellows are making significant contributions to technology innovation and modernization across government — and this AI-focused cohort will do the same,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “This new class of fellows will focus on values-driven implementation aligned with the executive order on AI so that we can harness the benefits of this new technology, mitigate the risks and ensure Americans get better service delivery from their government.”

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