About the Lecture: This lecture will focus on the background of the build up to the 2014 – 2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa and what the United States Government did to respond to this epidemic. Steven VanRoekel will discuss how the US tackled the challenges from the epidemic and what the government learned from it.
About the Speaker: Steven VanRoekel is the Chief Operating Officer of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City. Prior to this role, Steve was a technology and innovation consultant for the Foundation, seeking to further its mission through the use of data, technology and innovation. Steven began his engagement with Rockefeller in the Fall of 2017. Steve is a maker, investor and philanthropist. Prior to Rockefeller, Steve was in the Obama Administration where he last served as Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). At USAID, Steve helped coordinate the Administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including coordinating efforts to clarify and systemize the collection of data from the field and led the maker efforts to redesign the Ebola protective suit. Prior to his role at USAID, Steven was the second Chief Information Officer of the United States, appointed by President Obama in 2011. At the White House as U.S. CIO, Steve led the creation of the PortfolioStat agency review process, launched the “FedRAMP” cloud computing program, co-founded the United States Digital Service and the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, and led the U.S. Government’s Open Data and Mobile policies. Wired Magazine named Steve one of the world’s top 10 influencers of cloud computing. Concurrently, Steve spent a year as the acting Deputy Director for Management/Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Before joining the White House, Steve held two prior positions in the Obama Administration at USAID and the Federal Communications Commission. Prior to the Administration, Steve’s entire professional career was at Microsoft Corporation where he held many roles, including the longest-serving Business and Strategy Assistant to Microsoft founder, Bill Gates. His final role at Microsoft was as Senior Director of the Windows Server and Tools Division of Microsoft – a division, that at his departure, had risen to the be the second largest revenue generator for Microsoft. Steve is on the board of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the board of the Maret School of Washington D.C., and is on the board of VetSports, a nonprofit that helps veterans with opportunities to reintegrate into their communities through sports, community Service, events, and partnership. Steve, his wife Carrie, and three daughters (age 12, 10 and 8) live in Washington, DC.