John Paul Farmer is Director of Technology & Civic Innovation at Microsoft, where he leads a cross-functional team to design and deploy technologies that make communities more livable, more productive, and more sustainable. John’s work on rapid reskilling has given adults in-demand tech skills that quintuple their earning power. His team’s use of artificial intelligence has removed language barriers for government services. As the Founder & CEO of The Innovation Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, John spreads innovation best practices globally.

Previously, John served as the Senior Advisor for Innovation at the White House under President Barack Obama, where he co-founded and led the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to attract top private sector change-makers for focused tours of duty in government. The program has since been enshrined in law and catalyzed a movement of civically engaged technologists, data scientists, and entrepreneurs using their skills in the public interest through 18F and the U.S. Digital Service, as well as similar initiatives in governments around the world.

Prior to the U.S. government, John envisioned and built new business units in the private sector. He has experience in the technology, finance, and healthcare sectors. He played professional baseball in the minor league systems of the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. John holds an M.B.A. with honors from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and an A.B. with honors from Harvard University.