Megan Eskey is a internationally-recognized Open Government (OpenGov) consultant. She was employed by the federal government for almost 30 years.
In 2011, Megan led the effort at NASA Ames Research Center, bringing the “Maker” culture to the Center by organizing a booth at the Bay Area Maker Faire, reaching out to the Center to organize an “uncamp” event onsite at Ames, and spearheading efforts to refocus our nation’s OpenGov effort to prioritize “open innovation” rather than “open data”.
As a research center in the heart of the Silicon Valley, NASA Ames has a long history of more than 70 years of successful innovations and partnerships with academia and industry, including a Space Act Agreement with Google and a long-term contract with the University of California. Megan has been instrumental in initiating discussions to leverage these partnerships, with a focus on strengthening ties to UC Berkeley’s Program in Open Innovation.
Megan is the designer of NASA’s newest version of Spacebook, which was built on Liferay open source portal
software. Her recommendation to release this code as open source to other government agencies will be the first step towards enabling her vision to develop a suite of interoperable social sites (i.e., the ExpertNet family of sites) at the lowest possible cost, based on the highest standards of design, for all sectors of government across the country and around the world.
The far reaching impact this unprecedented effort could have on the ability for private citizens to participate and contribute to governance and to provide innovative enhancements to our nation’s technology investments and research and scientific discoveries far surpasses anything we have seen in government today, with the possible exception of NASA’s first landing on the moon. This YouTube of Aneesh Chopra, former United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO), speaking on “Open Innovation” at NASA
provides a glimpse into the future across all sectors of government, with the release of this code.
The OpenStack cloud software
currently in use by more than 150 companies was inspired by the Yahoo Open Stack
slidedeck uploaded to Megan's slideshare account in June 2009. In July 2010, Rackspace Hosting
jointly launched the new open source cloud initiative.CERN
deployed the OpenStack cloud in May 2013, after being in use by pilot testers with 250 new VMs created each day. By 2015 Bell hopes to have all of the resources managed by CERN's IT department running on OpenStack. About 90 percent of servers would be virtualized but even the remaining 10 percent would be managed with OpenStack.
Megan’s input to the U.S. National Action Plan for OpenGov
, which summarized her work from the previous two years, was posted on the White House blog dated Sept. 19, 2011.
Megan has been actively involved in the OpenGov effort since the release of the memorandum
in 2009. Her slideshare account
provides an archive of some of her seminal OpenGov presentations at forums such as the Federal Intranet Content Managers (FICM)
Lightning Rounds in 2011, and OpenGov West and Gov 2.0 LA in 2010.
Megan was on the Steering Committee for FICM, and was their OpenGov liaison. FICM provides a forum for speakers on a range of topics on a bi-monthly basis. Nick Skytland, NASA’s OpenGov Lead, was the guest speaker in November 2011, focusing his talk on NASA’s International Space Apps competition, which is based on Megan’s “OpenGov 2.0: How Do We Get from Here to There?”
presentation at OpenGov West in March 2010.
Megan is one of open government’s top social media evangelists with accounts on Slideshare, Yammer, Facebook, Twitter, Wikispaces, LinkedIn, Wordpress, Blogger (for her personal non-NASA blog ), Ideascale (FICM), and Quora. Quora is a new Q & A site that provided impetus for the White House ExpertNet effort. She posts YouTubes and links to her Facebook and Twitter accounts regularly, and has a profile on GovLoop as a “Renowned" user. She was one of the first 5000 on LinkedIn.
Friends and followers
on all of these sites cross into all sectors of government and include OpenGov luminaries such as Lovisa Williams, Sarah Schacht, Chris Vein, Vivek Kundra, Aneesh Chopra, Steve Ressler, John Moore
, Adriel Hampton, Alan Silberberg and hundreds of others across the country and around the world.
Megan maintains the OpenGov 2.0 Twitter and Facebook Fan sites, and the OpenGov 3.0 Twitter account. She created the Disruption Group on Facebook. She has been interviewed by bloggers such as Luke Fretwell (GovFresh) and Alex Howard (formerly of O’Reilly Media), on ExpertNet
Interestingly, Megan has had no budget and no staff since 2007, and has accomplished her goals by leveraging her strengths as an Open Leader, her expertise in social media, and her large network of influential Open Government experts, friends, fans and followers. As such, she is role model for federal leadership in what will be inevitably be increasingly tight budget years over the next decade and beyond.
Megan’s input to the White House ExpertNet RFI in early 2011 was a contributing factor to the launch of a hugely popular petition site called “We The People”,
based on a similar effort in the United Kingdom. Her visionary leadership and far reaching, deep insights into the principles and practices of OpenGov have been continually impactful at a federal level, and her stature as an individual contributor to the international OpenGov effort makes her a perfect candidate for future OpenGov efforts on a national or international level.
To learn more about Megan, view her Vizify infographic
and Twitter video
Megan is a graduate of the University of Southern California
. She has a master's degree in computer science
and an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. She attended Aviation High School in Manhattan Beach, CA, where she graduated 10th in the class of 1979. She was tested in junior high and has an IQ in the 150 range. She would like to use her gift for the greater good.