We’re a scrappy little outfit working to open government.
We’ll bring the sledgehammers.
DARELL ISSA Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board and California Congressman
Darrell is a lifelong technophile with a passion for open, accountable government. First elected to Congress in 2000, he led the successful opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Issa launched OpenGov in March 2011 to expand development of free software solutions like Madison that help citizens access government, empowering them to collaborate with elected officials and each other to deliver better policy.
Before serving the people of California’s 49th Congressional district as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Committee, Issa founded Directed Electronics Incorporated and served as Chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association. Issa received the 1994 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young and the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- “Making Government Suck Less” by Congressman Issa (TechCrunch, November 14, 2012)
- “Does Anyone in Congress Get Technology?” by Joshua Lamel (Huffington Post, May 1, 2012)
- “The OPEN Act as an Experiment in Digital Democracy” by John Sutter (CNN, January 18, 2012)
- “Inside Anti-SOPA Darrell Issa’s Laboratory for Digital Democracy” by Adam Clark Estes (The Atlantic, December 19, 2011)
Tweet him @DarrellIssa.
Lanham is the CEO of Rackspace, the service leader in open cloud computing and user-first “fanatical customer support.” He joined the company in 2000, growing its team of Rackers from fewer than 100 to more than 4,500 and its revenue to more than $1 billion in 2011. Under his leadership, Rackspace has developed the groundbreaking OpenStack open source cloud operating system. That makes Rackspace and OpenGov, as he puts it, “like brothers from another mother.”
Lanham earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in San Antonio, TX with his wife and two children. Rumor has it that he uses a cloud-based app and smartphone to control the temperature of a backyard smoker to regularly deliver award-winning ribs.
- “Openness, Transparency and Accountability – In the Cloud and In Government” by Lanham Napier (Rackspace Blog, December 12, 2012)
- “Head in the Cloud” (Texas CEO Magainze, March 11, 2012)
- “OpenStack: Invented by Rackspace and NASA”
JAMES LACY co-founder and counsel
Jim serves as legal counsel for OpenGov. He is co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP, bringing to bear more than 25 years of experience in non-profit law. The American Association of Political Consultants awarded Jim their 2006 “Pollie Award” as a “Defender of the First Amendment.” Jim received his J.D. from Pepperdine University.
SEAMUS KRAFT co-founder, handyman, Vice-Chairman of the Board
Seamus loves America, technology and helping people participate in their communities. He launched OpenGov with Chairman Issa in 2011 while holding down a Congressional day-job as Director of Digital Strategy and press secretary for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Leading a plucky team of digital ninjas from 2009 to 2013, he built the committee’s influential digital presence from scratch and lived to tell the tale.
When not working on OpenGov, you can probably find him reading, in the woods looking for lost golf balls or following Phish around the United States. A native of Marblehead, MA, Seamus graduated from Georgetown University in 2007 with a degree in classical political philosophy.
CHRIS BIRK lead ninja
Chris is a geek at heart, graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Computer Science. He previously worked for a series of startup web development companies before diving into Madison with the OpenGov Foundation. He was part of the inSourceCode team that first built Madison and KeepTheWebOpen.com, while bringing an innovation mindset to how the U.S. Congress uses technology. He has a fancy for working with open source projects and is constantly staying up to date on new toys and tools.
Chris is originally from Carmel, Indiana and in his spare time can be found hooping on the hardcourt, cheering on his Indianapolis Colts, or relaxing to some Dave Matthews Band.