Next is Todd Schroeder, vice president of public sector of UiPath, and finalist in the Artificial Intelligence Executive of the Year, Public Company category. Here, he shares his primary focus areas going forward and how he’s helping shape the next generation of leaders.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
My primary focus is the total net experience of the government employee as it is the single arbiter of the overall efficacy and impact any one mission can make. Since the beginning of technology in government ⏤ the typewriter meets the Clinger-Cohen act ⏤ the job of every public servant or service man or woman has actually become more complex. From time and attendance, citizen services like tax or food, to the warfighter or intelligence operators every part of being an employee has become more difficult. Sure, technology has helped with standardization, process conformance, reporting or auditing; however, each individual organization has their own system so in the end, the individual employee has to wade through hundreds if not thousands of systems just to perform their job.
Needless to say, most of this also has to be done manually. AI and automation will change this dramatically and will present the opportunity to have a singular experience, where decisions and tasks are presented to you, when your expertise is needed, so you can always be thinking about the mission and making it better. If our target is set on how it all works together, we will end up with a simplified environment, even greater effectiveness, and a culture of innovation that ultimately has been the objective since the beginning. We are finally going to live through the era of optimized impact, where technology itself becomes the commodity, and impacts across organizational constructs, systems, networks, data sets no longer matter. It will singularly be all about the impact and that our potential will be amplified 1000-times by AI, automation, and overall government experience.
How do you help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders?
I’ve spent my entire career serving the public sector for one singular reason ⏤ a higher purpose. Although it was accidental at the beginning, a software engineer contracted to USDA via SAIC, it has been intentional since that day. Serving as a public servant, a government systems integrator, and a product strategist ⏤ all with the intention of moving the government mission forward, serving communities and defending our nation’s interests. The government offered me the opportunity to lead from the beginning, arguably before I was ready; however, it taught me how to lead in the most complex situations. A basic premise is that all leaders need to be followed and the good news for Government is that their workforce is deeply passionate about making a difference. My takeaway from this experience to-date and one that I pay forward is to inspire and deliver.
Grounded in an ever-increasing understanding of how technology and now AI will unlock new potential for what government missions can deliver, the focal point for leaders must center on communicating, organizing and inspiring. It used to be that government leaders needed to have a basic understanding of technology to qualify for senior executive positions and now, these very executives lead the vision, are deeply astute at both existing and emerging technologies and they weave it into the DNA of how they perform their functions like finance and HR, as well as deliver on the front line in terms of citizen services and defense intelligence. This is how we all shape the next generation ⏤ we learn, work together and evolve technology at a greater pace than society and our country needs ⏤ this is our purpose, and now we can accomplish all those dreams we thought weren’t in reach.