WashingtonExec: Tell me about a time in your life when you had to really stretch yourself in order to learn and grow.
Dipentima: About 30 years ago, I was working full-time as an assistant commissioner at the Social Security Administration when I decided to go to the University of Maryland for my Ph.D. I continued working full-time and was also married and had two young kids. I was doing school at night after work and then working all day on my studies on Saturday and Sunday writing the dissertation. My wife Pat would take our two daughters out for the day on the weekend, and I would start writing at about 7 in the morning, and I would write until probably 5 or 6 at night. It was a lot.
I really had to stretch and learn and grow, but it was very satisfying and very worthwhile. I learned a great deal not only about myself but a great deal about the subject of public policy and technology. That was long before there was an internet. Today you have a lot of interest in public policy with respect to the internet, the use of the internet, what should be on social media, and so on. None of that existed then. We were just beginning to learn about how technology as it grew could affect public policy.