Innovating In Government


Government has the power to drive and inspire innovation in both their own efforts AND in the commercial world – at levels faster and more engaged than without Government attention. The members of this panel will share practical in-the-trenches examples of what their agency is doing to drive innovation – internal and to the commercial world.




As a senior member of the Strategic Innovation Group at Booz Allen Hamilton, Jonah Czerwinski prototypes and pilots new business models and technologies and leads collaboration with startups, venture capitalists, corporate innovation partners, entrepreneurs, and academia. Until early 2017, Jonah was a senior member of the Corporate Strategy team of The Advisory Board Company. From 2009-2013, he was Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Executive Director of the VA Center for Innovation (VACI). Jonah was named to the federal Senior Executive Service in September 2010. In 2016, he joined the Board of Counselors of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

Jonah launched and led the VA Center for Innovation (VACI) from its inception in 2010 with a $65 million annual budget and a mission to develop, test, and evaluate new ways for the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system to reduce costs, increase quality, expand access, and improve the Veteran experience. As Director, Jonah led a diverse team of technology, healthcare, and procurement experts to build a portfolio of over 120 innovations focused on delivering value for Veterans and taxpayers.

As senior advisor to the Secretary, Jonah advised the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and agency senior leaders on a range of strategy and policy issues regarding VA budget, management, and transformation. Jonah was VA’s representative on the steering committee of the White House Business Council.

Prior to his government service, Jonah was Managing Consultant at IBM Global Business Services and Senior Fellow at IBM’s Global Leadership Initiative. He served as a Senior Fellow at George Washington University, on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for a Secure America, and as a member of the Task Force on National Laboratory Assets for 21st Century Security.

Jonah Czerwinski was on the professional staff of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress from 2001-2007. As Director of Homeland Security Projects (2004-2007), Jonah led the Center’s project on “Strengthening the Transatlantic Relationship in the War on Terrorism” as well as the comprehensive management study on “Accelerating and Integrating National and International Efforts to Combat Smuggled Nuclear Weapons,” which contributed to the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Nuclear Detection Office through Homeland Security Presidential Directive 15. As Senior Research Associate at the Center, Jonah directed the Center’s Homeland Security Roundtable Initiative, edited the Center’s Issue Papers series on homeland security, and coordinated Congressional relations efforts related to foreign policy and homeland security.

Jonah has testified as an expert before Congressional committees and has contributed interviews appearing on CNN, CNN-International, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and other news outlets. Jonah earned his A.B. in Philosophy from Salve Regina University and his M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.


White House Presidential Innovation Fellow

Amy J. Wilson is serving a second term as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow (PIF), where she has studied how culture change and transformation occurs across the Federal government and beyond. She is the founder of and the Better Government Movement–a crowdsourced, open-source project aimed at increasing adoption of innovative practices to build a 21st century government. She is a senior advisor to government innovation labs and leaders across the Federal government. Her first year as PIF she founded the first government-wide technology accelerator to make the government better buyers of digital products and led the White House Open Data Innovation Summit, a celebration of the open data and government movement during the Obama Administration.

Amy is a fierce advocate for all things civic tech, open data, transparency, and co-creation within the government. She specializes in building and sustaining cultures of innovation with a social good mission and embraces the art of storytelling. She has challenged the status quo at more than a dozen organizations and can both set and implement the vision.

On the cusp of Booz Allen Hamilton’s 100th Anniversary, she pioneered the company’s Innovation Blueprint, Playbook and Ecosystem, which defined innovation in the context of consulting, made innovation accessible to all, and created virtual and in-person places to incubate ideas. After Hurricane Katrina she led a recovery project to build 50 homes in four months as a Team Leader in AmeriCorps*NCCC, partnering with entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations to solve the problem of landfill overflow and lack of housing opportunities. She’s also a Starting Bloc Social Entrepreneurship Fellow.


Most highly innovative companies understand that innovation is a collaborative process that cannot sit in one small unit in the organization. While cross functional collaboration is critical, innovation also benefits from insight-generating external collaborators allowing us to access the skills, talents, platforms and networks of others.

What are the barriers to facilitating collaboration both within organizations and with stakeholders such as customers, partners companies, and third-party contributors when developing innovative solutions?

How do you establish common goals and incentives to allow knowledge to flow between parties, and how can you manage these relationships to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes?

What are the policies, procedures and behaviours that can stifle this type of innovation and how can you change them to enhance collaboration, improve communication and facilitate the rapid development of innovative ideas?


ATL Airport

Dawn Gregory has over 18 years of corporate strategy and innovation experience across a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare and government. She is the founding partner of Synergy Solutions Group, LLC where she transforms organizations into high performing enterprises. She exemplifies the consultancy’s commitment to helping its clients deliver unsurpassable customer experiences and innovative solutions. Ms. Gregory is a proven leader with deep expertise in business growth and customer revenue with a disciplined focus on operations and execution.

Ms. Gregory recently led the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery for the City of Atlanta and now heads innovation, performance & strategy for the world’s most travelled airport, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Ms. Gregory was the former Chief Operating Officer of a $1 billion multi-state physician practice in the southeast. Her leadership experience spans across executive roles with the City of Atlanta, Kaiser Permanente and University of Pennsylvania Healthcare System and Accenture where she drove a $586 million merger and acquisition plan.

Ms. Gregory holds a MBA in Global Management with post graduate studies from Wharton School of Business, Corne University and LaSalle University. She is a former Certified Financial Advisor and has appeared in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Dawn Gregory served three years as the Education Chairperson for Customer Experience Professionals Association and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP).

Dawn and her husband Sam, live in the metro Atlanta area.


U.S. Air Force

Capt. Steven D. Lauver is the Deputy Director of the A8XP Innovation Branch and founder of the Air Force Technology Accelerator, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, VA. As Deputy Director, he is responsible for exploring, testing and disseminating innovation best-practices across the Air Force and fostering a lean, thriving culture in the Innovation Branch. As founder of the Air Force Technology Accelerator, he is responsible for developing and testing tools to deliver cutting edge, dual-use technology to the warfighter, faster.

Captain Lauver was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He entered the Air Force in May 2011 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has served 6 years on Active Duty, during which time he has been stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base, TX, Hurlburt Field, FL and the Pentagon and has deployed four times in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom Sentinel. Prior to his current position, the Captain was a Tactics Officer and U-28A Aircraft Commander, 319th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, FL.



Christer Bergman is the founder of Novexus, LLC a business development consultancy company based in Vienna, Virginia. Since 2000, Mr. Bergman has been a well-known business leader in the Security and Biometrics industry and has been involved in numerous speaking engagements before industry groups as well as the Congress. In particular the balance between privacy and security is of keen interest to Mr. Bergman as he advice companies and organizations within the Biometrics and Security industry.

He recently cofounded the company ProHockeyIQ, a cloud based matching service for recruitment of professional hockey players and hockey teams. He also serves as Board of Director for WCC-Group BV and Palago AB, LLC.Mr. Bergman was the President and CEO of Precise Biometrics, AB, between 2001 and 2006. He also served as a Member of the Precise Biometrics Board of Directors between 2005 until 2007. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for Fingerprint Cards AB, EyeVerify, Inc., Authasas BV, Ubiqo AB, SweCard AB, and Quard Technology AS.Since many years, Mr. Bergman wasa member of the board of the International Biometrics and Identification Association (IBIA)as well as a very active member of the board of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Washington, DC (SACC-DC). Currently he serves as theChairman of SACC-DC and have been appointed Chairman Elect for the SACC-USA organization.

During more than 30 years, Mr. Bergman have held numerous executive positions in the high tech industries in the US and Europe and earned a Master of Science Degree from the Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden, as well as from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Bergman also earned an officers degree from the Royal Swedish Naval Academy and currently resides in Virginia.