Driving Innovation in Government

Thursday, August 1, 2024 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT

Host: Association for Talent Development
By: Dr. JJ Walcutt and Marina Theodotou, Executive Director, Defense Innovation Board

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The terms innovation and government are oftentimes considered at odds with one another. Given the expansive policy and bureaucracy that both create structure yet also appears, at least on the surface, to stifle new ideas and development, rarely do we think of innovation as part of the greater government enterprise goal set. Yet historically, nearly 60 percent of US innovation stems from government ideas, actions, and research. Expanding these goals is not only expected into the future, but national security, development, and safety demand it. Accordingly, several innovation cells across both the Department of Defense as well as the other departments have been developed and continue to grow.

This webinar will focus on sharing the latest trends, actions, and goals of these innovative networks and leaders. Listeners will gain a deep understanding of how their work can be enhanced as well as how they can contribute to this thought leadership enterprise.

Primary Capability Covered: Future Readiness

Participation in this event, either live or recorded, can be reported for one (1) professional development point toward initial certification or recertification requirements for the APTD or CPTD credential.


Dr. JJ Walcutt
Dr. JJ Walcutt

Dr. J.J. Walcutt is a scientist, innovator, and learning engineer that specializes in talent development and strategic reform across education, military, and government. She served in the U.S. Government as the Director of Innovation at the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative under the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as a Human Innovation Fellow under the Office of Personnel Management. During her tenure in the government, she helped define the interoperable digital backbone required for training, education, and talent development across the military, intelligence, and greater security sector. She also designed an open innovation model for re-imagining the executive branch to promote talent development and retention. In her role at the Pentagon, Dr. Walcutt focused on promoting the science of learning through her service as a U.S. Delegate to NATO, Partnership for Peace, and as a national and international keynote speaker. In her role as a Human Innovation Fellow, she used the science of human centered design to recommend improved governmental communication structures with the American people to promote innovative problem solving. In this role, she provided keynote speeches nationally regarding innovation across, and transformation of, the federal government. Dr. Walcutt has over 20 years of experience in research and development for training and education with specific interests in improving educational systems to promote talent development, knowledge management, and decision making under stress.

Marina Theodotou
Marina Theodotou

Executive Director, Defense Innovation Board

Dr. Marina Theodotou serves as the Executive Director of the Defense Innovation Board (DIB) at the United States Department of Defense. As Executive Director, Dr. Theodotou serves as a principal advisor on Innovation to the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In this capacity, she is responsible for exercising direction, planning, management, and coordinationof the Defense Innovation Board. As such, she provides direction on critical Defense Innovation Board issues and special programs of interest to the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. As the Designated Federal Officer Dr. Theodotou is also responsible for ensuring that the Defense Innovation Board operations are conducted according to all applicable laws and regulations. Prior to thisrole, Dr. Theodotou served as organizational change expert at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) where she led crossfunctional teams to design, develop, and deliver innovative initiativesto empower and inspire the workforce to out-think and out-innovate the adversary including TEDxDAU, now DAU’s flagship, annual learning evening reaching over 6,000 registrants; DAU Web Events reaching over 90,000 workforce members, and Innovate to Win which enables the workforce to own their innovation journeys though self-assessment, a personal innovation readiness report, and a personalized, curated, learning