"Democracy in the Digital Age" Panel & Networking Event in Washington, DC

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 6:00pm
National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, 13th Floor Washington, DC 20045

Join alumni from all five UMass campuses for an evening of networking and a panel discussion, featuring industry leaders who will discuss how the digital age and technology are re-shaping politics.

With the ease of access to information online, it’s imperative for governments and politicians to maintain transparency. Social and other online media users can easily track down facts and call out inaccuracies. How technology plays a role in our democracy is ever-changing and poses the many questions including:

  • What can we learn from the open-data revolution?
  • How can greater transparency be created among the government and citizens?
  • How might citizen's knowledge and experiences infuse enhanced government practices?
6:00 p.m. Arrival and Networking
6:30 p.m.Panel Discussion
7:30 p.m. Networking

No cost to attend. Enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres and receive one drink ticket. A cash beer and wine bar will also be available.


Jane E. Fountain (moderator) serves as the distinguished university professor of political science and public policy at UMass Amherst, serves as chair of the department, and is an adjunct faculty member of the College of Information and Computer Sciences. Fountain is the founder and director of the National Center for Digital Government and the Science, Technology and Society Initiative. She is the author of Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and Institutional Change, which was awarded an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice and has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, and Spanish. Fountain is also a former chair and vice chair, and currently an invited member, of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on the Future of Government. 

Frank DiGiammarino ’92 III is the co-founder of and advisor to Accelerated Digital Ventures, a sustainable investment engine designed to source, support, and supercharge the best global technology businesses. Previously, he was the director of US state and local government for the world wide public sector division of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and served as the deputy and director of the Recovery Implementation Office reporting to Vice President Joe Biden. A frequent speaker on government and public sector transformation, DiGiammarino published a paper entitled, Can Government Work like OpenTable? which details how governments can leverage the lessons from the private sector to create a positive impact where people work, live, and raise their families.  

Charles Kosak ’88 serves as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for defense continuity and mission assurance (DASD DC&MA) in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OUSDP). As DASD DC&MA, he oversees the Department’s continuity, mission assurance, domestic counter-terrorism, information-sharing and global anti-terrorism policies and programs. Prior to assuming his current position, Kosak served in several OUSDP positions, including principal director for strategy, force planning, and mission; principal director for partnership strategy; principal director for African affairs; and deputy director for NATO policy. He has received several awards for his service over the years, his most recent being the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service.

Elizabeth Pugh ’71 has served as the general counsel of the Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, for the past 19 years. She began her legal career as an attorney with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Education. She then moved to the Department of Justice and held positions of increasing responsibility as a litigator and manager. After leaving the Department of Justice, she served as general counsel to the National Archives and Records Administration, where she played a significant role in the resolution of a case that resulted in the opening of tape recordings made by former President Richard Nixon.

The Alumni Association is committed to coordinating accessible events to the best of our ability and to the extent possible. Please let us know of any special needs that you may have related to our programming, when registering.
This event is sponsored by the Washington DC Alumni Network, UMass Foundation, UMass Amherst Libraries, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and Commonwealth Honors College.

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Date & Location

Date: 11/14/2017
Time: 6:00 PM

National Press Club
529 14th St NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045

The main entrance is located on 14th Street and has elevators available to the 13th floor. Public parking for a fee is available at the adjacent JW Marriott Hotel, along with street parking. The closest Metro stop is Metro Center.

Contact Information

Stephanie Subocz
Regional Alumni Officer for East & West Coasts

Susan McCarthy '05
Washington DC Alumni Network