Kumar Garg: "History Has Its Eyes On You"
This Week's Guest: Kumar Garg
About This Episode
When Kumar Garg posted a picture of the whiteboard that hung above his desk to Twitter (see below) he probably had no idea the stir that it would cause across the Internet. The whiteboard showed the entrepreneurial spirit and “get it done attitude” he and his team brought to the White House Office of Science and Technology during the Obama administration. Their ideas and ideals are universal and can be readily applied to the startup world and business in general.
Kumar’s love for education started his first year at Yale when he joined a group assisting poorer school districts in Connecticut, impressing on him the importance of STEM education and inspiring him to later join the Obama administration as a science generalist.
Kumar tells us about his youth as an immigrant in New York, the impact of his mentor Thomas Kalil on his career, and the now famous whiteboard’s origin—all with boundless energy and intellect.
ARTICLES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Obama White House Archives spotlight on Tom Kalil
- A Year of Action Supporting Computer Science for All: 2016 as a year of action in support of President Obama's Computer Science for All initiative.
- 2016 White House Science Fair: Obama's remarks and photos
- The Brain Initiative, National Institutes of Health
- Kumar Garg’s Commencement Address (Medium) at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
MORE ABOUT KUMAR GARG,
Senior Fellow, Society for Science & the Public
Kumar Garg helped shape science and technology policy for the Obama Administration for nearly eight years, serving in a variety of roles in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). He led the Obama Administration’s efforts to bolster science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, including the Educate to Innovate campaign with over $1 billion in in-kind and philanthropic investment, development of major State of the Union initiatives to train 100,000 excellent STEM teachers and bring computer science to all K-12 students, and creation of iconic events such as the White House Science Fair.
Working with OSTP Deputy Director, Kumar supervised a team of twenty staff with portfolios ranging from biotechnology, entrepreneurship, space, advanced manufacturing, broadband, nanotechnology, behavioral sciences, the Maker Movement, digital media, prizes and broader innovation policy. As a senior leader at OSTP, Kumar was involved in policy-development, implementation and communication of a wide range of science and technology issues, including more than twenty-five Presidential events.
Prior to his time in government, Kumar worked on behalf of parents and children seeking educational reform as an education lawyer and advocate. Kumar received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a law degree from Yale Law School. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.