New Look at Old Problems

Reprinted from PN January 2010

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark agrees to serve on the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA).

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Craig Newmark, the founder of “craigslist” and a well-known technology visionary, has agreed to serve on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) blue-ribbon panel that will review and evaluate ideas to improve disability claims-processing times and provide greater transparency to veterans.

“Transforming VA into an organization that is veteran-centric, results-oriented and forward-looking is my top priority,” says VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “Leveraging the talent, innovation, and creativity of stakeholders like Craig Newmark is just one of the many ways VA can think outside the box to help deliver tangible results to our nation’s veterans.”

The innovation competition solicited ideas from VA employees and members of veterans service organizations (VSOs) who are working with veterans to help deliver benefits they deserve and need. VA officials from each of the 57 regional offices across the country have submitted promising ideas, which will be reviewed by Newmark and other panel members. 

“I look forward to working with VA’s leadership team to bring tangible results to our veterans,” says Newmark. “I am encouraged by the fact that VA is embracing new ways to look at old problems.”

In 1995, Newmark launched the first community site on the Internet for people to share information about housing, jobs, and other needs. By April 2009, craigslist received more than 22 billion page-views per month, with more than 50 million members worldwide.

Newmark is a vocal proponent of using the Internet and technology to support government innovation and maximize the use of human capital. He also is a passionate supporter of veterans’ causes. 

VA received and reviewed more than 3,000 suggestions between September 8 and November 4, 2009. The panel will review the top 17 submissions and choose 5 projects that will receive full funding for project development and execution at the Regional Office that submitted the idea.


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New Look at Old Problems


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