My First Day in Washington DC As Presidential Innovation Fellow

Tomorrow, will be my first official day in Washington D.C. as a Presidential Innovation Fellow. I'm super excited, yet also very calm about what is happening. It seems like it is so meant to be, that I don't have any questions or reservations, I just want to get to work.

I was not in the realm, where I would take a job from anyone. I was doing very well, educating the masses about APIs as THE API Evangelist. However when the I got the call to be a Presidential Innovation Fellow, I did not hesitate. Yes. Of course I would take the role.

As a Presidential Innovation Fellow I will be assigned to the "VA Modernization Team", along with two other very talented individuals, Molly Ruskin (@mollieruskin) and Ben Willman (@benwillman). While we are working together as a team, I will be specifically assigned to the Digits-2-Digits (D2D) project which is:

An enterprise Digits-to-Digits Electronic Claims Submission Service that will provide a common access point to standardize, centralize, and integrate the universal collection of Benefits Claim Forms and supporting evidence data to produce a streamlined, paperless Veteran/Service member-centric claims process.

I couldn't think of a more meaningful project to be part of. I've gone through the project and begun to acquaint myself with its inner workings, and I'm impressed with the amount of work and detail that has gone on so far, in such a short period of time.

I'm really thankful for this opportunity, to really put APIs, and my experience to use for such a meaningful cause. I'm looking forward to the talented folks I will be working with over the next year, and the amount that I will learn on this new adventure in my life and career.

In closing wanted to give a quick shout out to my father Jim Bignall (top photo) who I never got to know, and my step-father John Ronald Kehoe (bottom photo) who impacted my life in so many ways. Both have passed on now, but both were Vietnam Veterans and left significant marks on who I am, and contributed so much to prepare me for the next year of service.