Craigslist founder to work with VA

Craig Newmark will help judge ideas on how the VA can improve benefits delivery

The founder of Craigslist will join a panel of judges who'll review ideas on how to improve processing times for veterans’ disability claims, the Veterans Affairs Department has announced.

Craig Newmark, Craigslist’s founder, will help review the ideas gathered during an innovation competition that let VA employees submit ideas on how to improve delivery of benefits, VA officials said Nov. 4.

VA officials from the department's 57 regional offices across the country submitted ideas that will be reviewed by the panel. Patrick Dunne, the VA's undersecretary for benefits, is chairman of the panel.

The VA has received and reviewed more than 3,000 suggestions since Sept. 8, the department said. The panel will review the top 17 submissions and choose five projects that will receive full funding for project development and execution at the regional office that submitted the idea, according to the VA.

“Leveraging the talent, innovation and creativity of stakeholders, like Craig Newmark, is just one of the many ways VA can think outside of the box to help deliver tangible results to our nation's veterans,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

The Internet and other technologies can help government agencies transform how work gets done, Newmark said.

“I am very encouraged by the fact that VA is embracing new ways to look at old problems,” he said.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Mon, Nov 9, 2009

The article didn't highlight the connection between Craig's lessons leared from the Craigslist project and the goals of the VA contest. And, even if you don't know that Craig carried Craigslist on his own for a long time along with volunteers to keep it free and true to the goal of getting scaling it up and delivering that level of utility/functionality to everyone, you should know that Craigslist remains... (1) a empowering worldwide application (2) a game changer/disruptor - all the other eCommerce businesses insist on shaving nickels, dimes and personal info out of everyone every step of the process, (3) simple enough for the least tech savvy users to figure out and exploit... wouldn't he have some very valuable and inspirational insight to help REPAIR VA and other "F"ed up services programs?

Thu, Nov 5, 2009 Stephen Buckley

Do "stakeholders, like Craig Newmark" (whatever that means) have some REAL experience in the operations in the delivery system for VA benefits? If not, then I am very interested in how his Craigslist experience will translate into the insight needed to judge the best ways to improve a government bureaucracy. Hey, it's not simply a matter of "using the Internet". Sheesh, how naive can you get? What next, the head of the VA gets to judge how best to improve Craigslist?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group