Dating. How Do You Do It?

I, for one, need to take it less seriously. If I didn’t feel like it wouldn’t last, I often did not often even take a chance. Someone said this to me though, what if you get to miss out on the emotions we get to experience in the 20s?

The thing is, I’ve always wanted to find a partner in life. I have always wanted my own family. At work, I was surrounded by people with kids and a partner, and sometimes they would whisper to me. “Don’t settle down so fast. You have plenty of time.” At the same time, I could imagine my days being filled with so much more joy with a little one to go home to and a partner I could chart my life with.

I’m in Korea now, and I think dating in Korea makes it different. There seem to be strict standards and theories for what it means to have a relationship that is meant for marriage. And perhaps that is not such a terrible thing, but it makes things complicated.

For instance, for many families in Korea, a marriage means a coming together of two communities beyond just two people.

If you start really just meeting people based on criteria, how do you know if he/she is right for you? You really don’t. Someone that makes sense theoretically may not be “the one” for you.

People say your partner should make you feel empowered, beautiful, and a best version of yourself. At the same time, it takes a lot of self-love, wisdom, and stability to love another.

What I’m coming down to is that it is about how you feel when you’re with the person. As long as fundamental values and hearts are shared, everything else you can work towards building together. One thing I would say is observe if his/her words matches the action.

Life is incredibly unpredictable. We also change and evolve over time. I do believe though that certain qualities withstand through the turbulences of life. Someone you can trust and share the same center of life at the very least will stay consistent beyond all else – a bond for all unexpected turns of events to come. What I’m now working on is being just myself – expressing all that I can, sharing who I am in all shapes and sizes. I only hope I’ll be able to better find someone who can also find themselves sharing the same fundamental values together.

Why Asian American Stories Are No Different From Each Our Own

Crimes against Asian Americans are rampant in the news today. I recently read on Facebook a colleague of mine was punched in the street in Washington, DC. He was sharply intelligent and was a wonderful human being.

He shared his experience with nuance and compassion – especially toward the man who hit him earlier today. I cannot say that I have as much tolerance.

Growing up, wherever I was, I was considered Korean – to the young kid of Italian descent in sixth grade who was struggling to understand my presence in the class, to a woman at work who asked me if I was “oriental.” Try as hard as I may have to fit-in to the mainstream American culture, I was Korean and American. I grew up in Korea until I was eleven-years-old. I also was not Korean, as most of my education background and my professional career had been in the States.

Juggling this fine balance has always been a challenge growing-up and as I understand it, will always be a part of my life.

Some might just call the continued hate crimes against Asian Americans from mental disabilities or lack of education or even lack of knowledge of how COVID-19 is spread. Some Asian celebrity figures, Sandra Oh, Eric Nam, have called out on news outlets that have called the shootings as another shooting incident, as racist acts against Asian Americans.

I do agree that these violent acts come from a place of ignorance or lack of education. At the same time, there were moments during my time in the U.S. where I did feel different as the only Asian in the room or felt discriminated against.

And as with many movements, the Me-Toos, Black Lives Matter, I hope this is a time for us, for all of us, to challenge our assumptions, and to listen to the stories. It takes effort to calm the voices of presupposed judgments when you look at someone who looks different or even to think outside of our comfort zones.

The United States is also a place I call home. And as with me, we all have incredible nuanced and complex layers of experiences unique to all of us. And again, I hope this is a time for us to self-reflect on the complexities of our own identities and to listen to voices seemingly different.

The Collaborative Impact Network – Good-Doers, Shakers, and Innovators

In the spring of 2018, I was reading a book by Reid Hoffman called “The Startup of You.” In the book, he wrote about the PayPal Mafias, the notorious group of the former PayPal team who have met in informal circles chatting ideas and pursuits to have since founded Tesla Motors, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, and SpaceX.

The 2018 was the year after the Trump transition team had come into the State Department. I saw a lot of my former colleagues, mentors, friends leave government, as well as good initiatives along with it. I had also taken a few months off and rejoined the State Department after leaving for a few months as a contractor. I became involved with impact-oriented initiatives such as NEXUS, a global movement to galvanize the next generation of young social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and family businesses and Concordia Summit, a public-private partnership for social impact.

I knew there were really amazing people both in and out of government. I was working in government on a project called Engage America, a whole of government initiative to bring interesting foreign policy initiatives closer to the American people, and I witnessed an initiative, a thirst in DC in government to make good things happen.

I wanted to connect them. I wanted to make the resources available.

It was pretty quick. I went on Facebook and I wanted to create a small group. I initially added a few friends from government, the nonprofits I knew, and the investors, family offices, and the pioneers.

My fingers moved pretty quickly. I made a Facebook group called The Collaborative Impact Network after a few changes, I called it a “community of innovators, influencers, thought leaders, and mentors helping each other pursue “good” in original, purposeful, and creative ways.” I added a few more lines.

“Through a decentralized network approach, we unlock capacity for global impact through collaboration across unlikely agents across sectors – private and public. The group is based on the concept of PayPal Mafias.”

We had a few guidelines: “The network is only as good as its nodes. The group is as good as its members. Invite your mentors, leaders, and champions to be of a valuable resource for you! *Maintain ethos of sharing and cooperation. Be open and respectful when providing feedback or sharing ideas in the spirit of collective progress. *Drop a positive reaction or show gratitude for a member who spent time in helping you!”

The ideas was to build a platform and eventually a few events and a capacity to work beyond silos that our values are more aligned than we think – to activate global communities to work towards solutions across diverse sectors and industries.

I had a pretty vetted group of 400 innovators, diplomats, and social impact leaders, mostly based in DC. They shared updates and job postings, encouraging reports or studies from their respective organizations.

It was really my passion project. A facebook group, no less, but something I could pour my time into to connect people in my downtime.

My role was to elevate other people. I welcomed new members who are trailblazing their own success with innovative spirit, empathy, and leadership. Some of the members included Cameron Sinclair, former Co-Founder at Architecture for Humanity, a and the former Director at Jolie-Pitt Foundation, and now head of Social Innovation at Airbnb, Ashley Olafsen, Co-Founder of MOVE LLC and TedxYouth speaker on media diversity and self-esteem. She hosts “empowerment workshops and summer programs for girls on body image, self-esteem, mental health, and abusive relationships. Kevin Conroy, CPO at GlobalGiving, “ the world’s first global crowdfunding website for nonprofits. Scott Beale, Founder and CEO of Atlas Corps, and others.

Even now, I think I want to believe that we are good at heart. And we want to make good things happen.

We would gather thematically based on interests such as media, technology, social entrepreneurship, finance, diplomacy, and others in intimate groups of 4-5 and go around sharing one wisdom/network/resource in the spirit of vulnerability and sharing. We also host live interviews with media moguls, innovation leaders, and disability advocates: “Unleashing the Nonconformist in You,” “Harnessing Your Own Positivity,” “Eat, Accept, and Live,” and “Innovate Your Future.” We hosted various community-wide events on “Storytelling for Good,” “Innovative Leadership and Self-Empowerment,” and “Begin to Hope.” Our approach cultivates trust and credibility to build collective value, an automatic byproduct and a catalyst for common action.

In September, we partnered with the Global People’s Summit, a day-long, one-of-a-kind global digital and interactive dialogue that brings together delegation across industries to co-create solutions inspired by the SDGs. The digital platform of the summit brought together the voices of the United Nations General Assembly to foster dialogue and collective action.

Philanthropists. Impact Investors. Social Entrepreneurs. Policy Makers. We sometimes settle into the day-to-day often about how we can have more not give more. If we swap that dialogue around to creating value, that can be a completely different conversation. The given basis of our platform is how can we breathe in more value, love, and inner rich for someone else to shift the mentality from “me” to “us.” With a platform, we can co-create a shared outcome and catalyze global social impact.

Picture of the members of the the Collaborative Impact Network.

The sufficiency mindset will create something that translates into a new type of richness – the inner satisfaction and love for who we are, what we do, and the impact we can make by touching others with the same filled purpose and zest for life. The inner riches or purpose can be more fully realized through understanding that what we’re working on is often bigger than ourselves – irrespective of our own industry or field of interest. I think we can catalyze from within each to pursue the betterment of us all.

스타트업 법인설립 101

사업체는 보통 개인사업자나 법인설립으로 나눠집니다. 법인을 설립하게 되면 우선 개인사업체와 개념이 많이 다릅니다. 개인사업체는 1인 책임자로 운영이 시작되며 개인 통장, 개인명의로 진행이 됩니다. 사업체와 개인이 동일하다고 보시면 됩니다. 하지만 개인사업자와 법인사업자는 세금을 내는 형식은 비슷합니다. 개인사업체는 법인과 다르게 다른 기업과 거래를 할때 악조건이 발생하거나 아님 거래측에서 법인형식을 요구할수도 있습니다.

통상시 처음부터 개인 사업체로 사업을 하는 경우가 많고, 규모가 커져 절세 또는 대외적으로 공신력을 얻기 위해 법인으로도 전환을 많이합니다. 개인사업체로 시작을 하게 되면 매출 추이를 확인후 법인으로 전환하게 되는데요. 통상시 총 매출액이 5억 10억 규모정도 이후 법인으로 전환되는 경우가 많습니다.

법인으로 전환하게 되면 우선 회사 법인이 새로 만들어지고 개인과 다른 주체로 만들어지는 겁니다. 그리고 법인카드가 만들어지겠죠. 1인기업은 의사결정을 혼자 할수있지만 법인은 같이 시작하는 사람과 함께 회사의 주체를 분배해 나눠가지는 형식이 되는거죠. 만약 5명이 있다면 20%식 나눠가지는 형태로 만들어집니다.

처음 시작할때 설립을 하는 형태, 조건등이 매우 중요합니다. 기업이 처음 가치가 없다고 해도 나중 이익이 나면 나눠가진 지분의 가치가 높아지기 때문에 주주중 한명이 나가게 되면 그 남은 주식을 분배를 어떻게 할지, 주식을 주주외 다른 사람에게 매도를 할지는 잘 논의를 해야됩니다.

법인을 만들때 자본금 비용은 서류상 정말 100월으로도 만들수 있지만 사업체를 운영하는 비용이기 때문에 어느정도 넉넉히 잡는게 좋습니다. 예전 법률상 5,000만원이 최저 자본금으로 지정이되었고 5,000만원에서 매출, 이익등을 계산하면 됩니다.

법인을 설립하게되면 법론사, 세무사, 변호사등 여러 도움이 필요하게 됩니다. 차후 차질이 없도록 각 과정에서 전문적인 도움을 잘 받는게 중요합니다.

국내 스타트업 같은 경우도 해외에 법인을 세우게 된다면 절차나 비용은 매우 싸게, 약 $100불정도로 세울수는 있지만 차후 IP등 회사 자산등이 노출될수있으니 손실없게 진행이 될수 있도록 도움을 받는것이 중요합니다.

My 7-Day Workout Routine

I am definitely one of the girls that gets intimidated in the free-weight zone and uses similar machines each time I go to the gym.

I had to do quite a bit of studying to figure out how I could set-up my workouts, and I thought I might share my learnings here for the readers.

The Basics

When you start working out, you’re sore. You may not feel like you’re hitting all the right muscles. You dread going to the gym. For me, it’s the combination of three things.

As long as you come up with sports that work best for you, then I think it could be a lot of fun.

Check out this chart below.

This is an Optimum Performance Training Model by National Academy of Sports Medicine.

What this tells you is simply is that stabilization comes first, such as correcting the muscle imbalance and strengthening your cores. Then you should start increasing the amount of strength in your body. The last step is power lifting.

What this teaches you are three things:

  1. Each day, focus at least 15 minutes on your cores, like planks, body weight squats, walking lunges, hip bridge, kettlebell swings etc. This will help your body exert strength, and it will build endurance for an extended period of time.
  2. Do some cardio training, walking, tennis, swimming, yoga 2-3 days a week. This will help prevent tissue overload and improve your condition.
  3. Working out WELL is much more important than doing a lot and more of it. Go at your own pace!

If you don’t have the strength and endurance in your core, you cannot sustain or have the right posture for when you’re working with weights.

Types of workouts include:

  • High-intensity interval training: This is short bursts of high intensity exercises followed by low-intensity. I sometimes run in intervals of 4 minutes at 10km/hr, then walk for 6km/hr for about 30-40 minutes in each morning. As I’m sweating and getting the run-in, it feels great. I also enjoy tennis and boxing.
  • Strength: This is weightlifting – helping to increase your strength and muscle power.
  • Calisthenics: The movements here are what you could call home-training. The lunges, pushups you can do at home using large muscle groups at medium pace.
  • Balance: This helps to strengthen the muscle, especially your core muscles, and improve coordination. Think Pilates.
  • Flexibility: Ah, this is the dessert of the workout for me. Stretching improves blood circulation, help muscle recovery, range of motion, and prevent injuries.

For me, for instance, I enjoy HIITS and flexibility workouts. Flexibility helps me improve blood circulation and helps to align my bones. I spend many hours sitting a lot at my desk, and I cross my legs often. So I tend to focus my stretching exercises on my back or my pelvis. The HIITs I try to do as soon as I get up in the morning to get my blood pumping for the rest of my day.

Find a mix of the workouts that work the best for you before start strategizing.

My Weekly Routine – 5 Days a Week

Let’s start with how I might work out each week and then go into how each day would look like.

Each workout need not be too long – as long as they hit the right muscles and are adjusted to the energy level you have each day.

Lower BodyLegs
Upper BodyChest, Shoulders, TricepsCoreBack,
Other Yoga YogaYoga
Yoga Yoga


TypeCoreChest & Shoulder
& Arms
shoulder press
pull downs 15×3
Lunges 15×3Wide Squats
20×3 + 10 and dips
Front Raise
cable row 15×3Leg Press
20 x 3
Side Squats
15 x 3
Inclined Close Grip Press
Assisted Pull 15 x3Kettlebell Swing
Split Squat
Side Bend
Parallel Dips
Diamond Push-Ups
Front Rack Dumbell Step-Up
C-Curve Hold
(sit-up triangle)
1 minute
Lateral Raises
Rope Pushdown
Leg Curls
on the Machine
15 x 2
Lying Leg Raises
Swiss Ball
Leg Curl
on a ball
Dips with legs extended 15×3
Hip Dip (Plank with hips to each side)Overhead Triceps
Calf Raises
Lying Leg

Daily Routine

  1. Stat with stretching that help strengthen your mobility, stability, and activate your core muscle masses you’ll hit that day. When you activate them, you can feel them better when you’re performing the workout.
  2. First I would warm-up by running for 10 minutes on the running machine just to warm up. The purpose of this is to get the blood pumping and not to tire yourself.
  3. Then I work on Compound Muscles – the main muscle area you’re hitting that day. Do two or three each. You start with reps with largest range of motion first then do the ones with smaller range.
  4. Then it’s time for Auxiliary Muscles – the hamstrings, triceps, etc. Again, two or three each. When putting together your workout, start by pulling first then push next to activate different types of muscles.
  5. Pick cardio of your choice. To lose fat, I do cardio after hitting the weights. Your body burns carbs before burning the fat, and weights use glucose as it’s main energy source. So by hitting the weights first, you will more effectively be able to burn the fat.
  6. I usually stretch again to help muscle recovery.

I would only spend about 20 minutes or so at the gym. If you’re also working on cardio, then you could spend up to an hour and a half. The important thing is to pace yourself out and to work on different parts of your body. Also, mix it up to keep it fun for you.

You also have to optimize your nutrition to support your energy level, such as taking in enough carbs and protein to build muscle mass.

That’s it for today. Have fun!

The Easy Four-Step Nutrition Plan

For about the last three weeks, I was recovering from a cold and body aches. The illness was not COVID-induced; I took a test just in case! Needless to say, I was feeling quite out of shape when I had finally recovered.

As I am getting back into my diet & fitness routine, I thought I might jog it down here to share with my site readers.

The Goal Setting

The first thing is to set-up a goal that is right for you. Instead of thinking how much you want to lose on the scale, check where your body is at. You can use your BMI rate to think about how much fat:muscle your body needs. For me, 21% BMI is ideal.

Think about rearranging the fat:muscle ratio. If you’d like to lower the total amount of fat in your body, you need to focus on cardiovascular workouts and lowering the total caloric intake.

The Nutrition Plan

For some people, this is one of the most difficult. How much to eat, when, controlling your hunger, all of this comes as a very stressful task.

What I would suggest to start building your own timeline. A mindset you need to start cultivating is to be very generous with yourself and your own timeline.

The first thing you need to start doing is by cutting down the amount of food you are eating.

The only difference between bulking and cutting is the amount of calories you’re taking in each week.

To measure the amount of calories you need to take, you need to figure out how much caloric intake your body needs day-to-day. You can use this BMR Calculator to figure out the amount of calories your body needs.

If you’re cutting it doesn’t matter if you’re eating three protein bars at a time or two chicken breasts at a meal – if the total caloric intake exceeds the total spending.

It might be also too difficult to start changing what you’re eating radically in the beginning. Start by eating less – at regular periods of time. When you have breakfast at 9 AM, tell yourself that you will not eat for the next four hours.

Stick to what you’re already eating. And do not be too hard on yourself on how much you ate or what you ate each day. Also, measuring the caloric intake each week is what matters- not day-to-day.

The second is to start watching the timing of your meals.

Your body operates on biorhythms. It has an internal clock that expects your body to wake-up, fall asleep, or eat at certain times.

If you’re constantly snacking on empty calories, the foods with little nutrition value will keep you hungry.

The first two steps are the basics to the rest of your diet routine. If you cannot lower your caloric intake, you wouldn’t lose the extra fat in your body. If you cannot eat at regular times, then you may fall in the habit of eating whenever you feel like it.

This step is important to building your basic metabolic rate. If you have an extremely low BMR or feel like you’ve stopped losing as much, it is probably because you’re not eating at regular times.

The third step is to think about the ratio of carbs, fat, and protein in your diet.

When you’re on a diet, you’re basically rearranging the amount of fat and protein in your body. The ratio of your intake is also critical to how they build your system.

You need all three – protein, fat, and carbs – in your body to rearrange the proportion.

If you have less carbs in your diet, then you may start losing your muscle mass. Carbs is the most efficient form of energy in your body – so for you to have the energy to work out the muscles, perhaps you could use some fusion of carbs into your system.

When you’re looking at your meal each day, you want the amount of protein to equal the amount of carbs on your plate. On most protein, such as fish, eggs, chicken, fat is already a part of your diet. So I wouldn’t worry about the fat intake as much.

The most ideal type of food is for when you’re cutting is taking- is the food that gives you a lot of energy with little fat composition. You don’t have to worry too much about taking in the right amount of protein or fat into your body. I would just try to steer away from eating too much of each kind.

The final step is to monitor the quality of food you’re taking in.

This is when you start thinking about the quality of your food- vegan, vegetarian, processed, organic, etc.

If all you’re thinking about is the amount of food, the ratio, calories, and not the quality of the food you’re eating, then it may be critical to your health.

Chicken breast, meats, etc. may have antibiotics in the system, which can fight against germs, but they can also significantly affect the living healthy bacteria in your guts. Antibiotics could also severely affect how well your organs operate, such as your kidneys.

I’ve done a diet of two weeks, where I took foods with probiotics like miso, spinach, and lots of probiotic supplements. I started waking up early with a lot of energy. My body clock was back to normal, and although I was taking in much less calories, I had so much more energy.

Compose your diet with good, quality food that you can stick with for a long time. Eat whole foods, nuts, seafood, garlic than processed meals.

That’s it for today.

If you stick to the four-step plan, you’re on a good track to building a healthy, nutritious diet for you.

My Beef with Tony Robbins

Yesterday, I was having a long conversation with my brother about work and millennial problems – the idea to reach for the stars. We both agreed “following your passion” and “finding your potential” is an incredibly American idea. Classic Tony Robbins and Steve Jobs. 

I started out interning through a school program in DC, applied as an Intern twice to get into the State Dept. I found a position with the Office of Policy Planning. When Trump came in, I left along with the rest of the Secretary’s Office and rejoined as a contractor. I was hit by a car a week after my employment. During the last two years of my time at State, I joined as the Korea head at NEXUS Global, a network of social entrepreneurs and impact investors, and hobbled through conferences and made a small network of my own in connecting policymakers and entrepreneurs to keep good initiatives going. I convinced former diplomats and staffers at State that left during the Trump administration and formed a team called GeoStrat Ventures, LLC consulting on new market entry & geopolitics to impact investors. Here in Korea, now I am bringing together my background to help the market entry of federal technologies abroad in aerospace and defense into South Korea.

I think you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time. In my experience, there is a huge opportunity cost to “following your passions” and “staying who you are.” If you prioritize work, you lose family time and might lose out on your hobbies. I had advantages like I was single. And I could afford the time to work on side projects and the money to attend the conferences as I did.

You don’t belong in a certain social group, because you are on your own. You have to be mindful of navigating the cultural difficulties among different social groups. For instance, I am a young Korean woman here, and my State and entrepreneurial venture do not bode well with the older Korean businessmen here in Korea. What helped me is finding a few industry leaders as personal advisors and staying focus on my priorities.

If you have the Tony Robbins dream, and I do think it is incredibly rewarding to have one, there is never a short-cut or the easy-way out. You also have to navigate your own waters, flexible, be disciplined, diligent, be extremely smart in prioritizing. What gives me comfort is knowing where I am and what I can and cannot do. 

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you’d like to be absolutely original, my tip is to manage your mental health and to keep fine-tuning your skillset. Keep learning and taking the initiative to carve space in your life devoted to what you’re good at and creating an environment that continually motivates and excites you.

Ad Astra.

Disclaimer: these are my thoughts and my thoughts only by February 22nd of 2021. They may change and evolve over time.

Takeaways from Rich Dad Poor Dad

This book is a timeless classic. I can hear Robert Kiyosaki’s voice in my head saying, “Money in your asset class puts money into your pocket”

It teaches you the most basic fundamentals in personal finance and does so in a debunking the rules of a “well-lived, respected life.”

Growing up, Robert K. had two dads. His own dad was well-educated member of the government who had worked his way up, but he shied away from the subject of “money.” He grew up next to another dad, who taught him how to leverage money to his advantage.

This book reads easily. He speaks in in his own voice, giving practical advice reflecting from his own journey. He admits to a few things that he “likes” money, he had to work very hard for it, and that it was not always roses and peaches.

The book essentially breaks down the cash flow analysis the income statement (income and expenses) and balance sheet (assets and liabilities). Examples of assets are real estate, stocks, bonds, notes, and IP that flow cash into income with rental income, dividend, interest, and royalties. Liabilities are those that take money out of a pocket, like a car that needs repair, mortgage with mortgage payments, hence expenses.

Gambling is not knowing what you’re doing. Finance basics are made up of the following:

  1. Accounting: Financial literacy to identify strengths and weaknesses of businesses, urn earned income into passive & portfolio income
  2. Investing : Creative strategies and formulas to get money working. Ex. How to buy real estate foreclosures, derivative trading, The 16 Percent Solution, commodity option trading, etc.
    1. real estate
    2. IP (idea, patent, license, franchise, information, music)
    3. Investments (stocks, bonds, notes)
    4. 현물 자산 투자 (귀중품, 예술품, 시계, 와인, 자동차)
  3. Markets: Is this investment cheaper due to supply vs. demand in the market? Check your pulse on your emotions (fear vs.greed) and the economics (is this an under-valued asset?)
  4. Law: Learn the tax advantages and protection mechanisms of a corporation entity, e.g., expenses that you can pay with pre-tax company dollars

Key Takeaways are the following.

  1. Emotion drives our decision-making. Fear and greed drives our thinking. Fear of running out of money motivates us to work hard, and greed and desire drives us to start buying things with money. Learn to use emotions to think and be an “observer” of emotions not be consumed by it.
  2. Money is not real. They are contracts, agreements, and exchange of mediums, e.g., services, information, etc. I chose to think about this concept to not think about money in nominal terms, but to think about it as a medium of exchange of goods. More we capitalize on our assets, more we can earn.
  3. Focus on an asset class, but learn a little about everything – banking, brokerage, law, accounting, etc.
  4. Be disciplined. In the learning process, you will lose money. Keep studying, be willing to take the rocky road, and attend seminars, etc.
  5. Learn how to communicate effectively and succinctly
  6. Learn the three management skills – of people, cash flow, and systems

There are certainly valuable lessons from the book in teaching the fundamentals. For me the biggest lesson learned is to find an asset class I would be excited about. Perhaps it is my dogma or my millennial attitude, but I truly enjoy working for myself. One thing I definitely want to try is launching a business I am excited about and learn the mechanics in theory and in practice.

In the meanwhile, I will develop hobbies, try new things, and see what I can do the best.

As I progress through my career, I look forward to the learning.

Advancing Multilateral Public-Private Partnerships for Biden’s Priorities

One lesson I had learned witnessing the Trump transition at State was that while policies and programs may not outlast an administration, the work can continue with advancing priorities under shared values, iterating upon what works, and working with the private sector.

In the private sector, I witness an incredible array of work by innovators in climate science, aerospace, and defense protecting human lives and achieving security and sustainability agendas through greener, cheaper, lighter, and more efficient technologies.

I had an opportunity to work on a program called Engage America – a whole of government initiative to bring policies closer to the American people. With State as a more diplomatic arm of the federal government, we worked with interesting private innovators to provide public resources to local municipalities, such as Small Business Administration to provide translation services for Somali populations in Buffalo, NYC.

Many public programs, such as Engage America, did not continue, but public and private resources exist to be harnessed with a renewed sense of optimism and energy to be catalyzed. We are also at the precipice of many changes to move at scale on complicated and interrelated issues.

Executive Offices at institutional banks, like Goldman Sachs, adopted Environmental and Social Policy under a top-level operational framework. Investors are pouring an unprecedented amount of capital into start-up ventures with government stakeholders as a source of funding, building confidence among investors.

In many ways, coronavirus is accelerating what has already been out there in building the cyber resilient networks and thinking through supply chain disruptions. As a country, we should come together to think about how public-private partnerships can instrument the solutions that can be scaled.

Each entity offers from a business or government standpoint to meet the needs of consumers, citizens, and the environment in a collaborative working sense. By creating the conditions for tackling those problems within and in partnership with implementation strategies that are feasible, practical, and operational.

Government officials need to work with business or non-profit not only as a way to reduce cost but also for innovative and long-term solutions to manage multi-dimensional policies. Business leaders will need to balance responding to short-term solutions and long-term strategic policies part of the larger political reality by anticipating risk, clear social goals with flexibility and independent expert advice.

  1. Create industry coalitions for immediate solutions, such as pandemics. There are technologies we can utilize today such as sensors or commercial satellites monitoring the patterns of life. We can mobilize this data to predict the patterns of future biological threats.
  2. Establish R&D coalitions in each arm of the federal government. We can apply the technical knowledge of U.S. startups to policy goals to cover Presidential priorities, such as nuclear disarmament, food security, global health, and climate change. By working closely with the Department of Energy, entrepreneurs would help bring clean energy technologies with high upfront capital costs into the market. By catalyzing the connection with DOE, entrepreneurs, regional partners, and incubators, the partnership would foster collaborations among start-ups and federal entities. 
  3. Educate. The advent of the internet and the data is that everyone can share information. The downside to this is that everyone can share information. Massive amounts of disinformation or misinformation about the coronavirus are still out and about. Information can be weaponized to polarize each other.
  4. As the US seeks to broaden its alliances, it should engage partners not just on trade and traditional security issues, but also on emerging “nontraditional” challenges. One principal area for America to collaborate constructively with Asian nations is in “natural security,” or the security implications of climate change, environmental degradation and natural resource dependence.
  5. We could also establish bilateral technology funds, funds could support a range of initiatives, from seed projects to road test high-risk ideas to incubators for startups innovating at the nexus of defense and commercial applications.
  6. We could build anonymous data sets with U.S. allies to offset China’s scale advantage in the arena or its potential deliberate policy choices. Each government’s initiative to pool select, curated datasets can be used by companies and innovators in each country.

Achieving national security and next administration’s priorities will continue to require working across those barriers. It cannot be done without building upon what has already been effective and also through tapping into convening grounds across the public and the private entities for a safer and a more secure world.


Coding controls how we live – online and offline.

About a third of 1% of us can write it.

Think about what we’re doing right now. You’re probably reading this article. This article itself is – coded, and run on a web browser, which is code, run on a computer which is designed by code.

It’s a very exciting time to be living today. Everything we do is on the computer, and as we’re generating more data, we’re relying on it to make more decisions for us day by day.

Here is how artificial intelligence works. We give the computer a lot of examples and get it to write its own code with its own set of directions to follow. If we do not train it to consider a set of decisions to go into making more decisions, the computer will decide it is not relevant. For instance, the computer may decide the parties don’t have any hispanic people, if the input does not have any hispanic people.

Some call for a “data governance council” to ensure fair treatment and protection of personal data. Some have called for technology conferences to discuss the unintended consequences of technology.

For me personally, the technology really has not caught up to speed yet for us to worry. Of course, there are ethical concerns of deep-fakes, but to generate any working algorithm, data analysts have to comb through thousands of datasets pulling from hopefully a source that is statistically a good sample size.

I wouldn’t worry so much yet, but I would be mindful of the selective screening of information and as the algorithm on your online content viewership advances. This leads to a whole another conversation on polarization, populism, etc., that I won’t get into today.

Thank you for reading!