ThinkFWD – Building a Better Public Interface: How to Make Government More Transparent


January 15, 2015 at 6pm


The Microsoft Technology Center
The Aon Center - 200 E Randolph
Ste 200
Chicago, IL 60601
United States


Alicia Race

ThinkFWD is a quarterly speaker series focusing on important issues at the intersection of tech and politics.

Join us as Chicago tech leaders and government officials discuss how the tech community can ensure that government is more responsive to the people it's supposed to serve. From voting to transparency, civic engagement to civic tech, we'll discuss how to make government more open and effective. 


Keynote Address by Congressman Mike Quigley: Rep. Mike Quigley was elected to Congress to represent Illinois’ 5th District on April 7, 2009. A former Cook County Commissioner who began his career serving as an aide to former 44th Ward Alderman Bernie Hansen, Rep. Quigley has served his community for more than thirty years. 


Brenna Berman serves as Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) Commissioner and CIO. She has helped to build Chicago’s open data program into one of the largest in the country, setting a new standard for government IT.

Adam Hecktman is Microsoft’s Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Chicago. In this role, Adam is tasked with driving technology thought leadership, assistance, and advice, earning a position of trust with political and civic leaders in the city.  Prior to this, Adam was the Director of The Microsoft Technology Center Chicago. Adam has been with Microsoft for 23 years, and is a lifelong Chicagoan.

Rebecca Shi, Executive Director at the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, is a first generation Chinese American who for the last five years has advocated for fairness and full integration of immigrants in Illinois. 

Noah Praetz is the Director for Elections in Cook County, Illinois, the third largest election district in the United States. Praetz is a leader in election security and technology. He began working in the County Clerk’s office in 2000 as a temporary employee entering voter registration cards prior to the Presidential election. He then worked his way up and was the Deputy Director for Elections until his promotion to Director in 2013.

Moderator: Dick Simpson, a Professor of Political Science at UIC, has been the principal researcher on important studies which have led to reform in many units of government in Cook County, Illinois. He served as the Chicago’s 44th Ward Alderman for two terms.

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