Pioneers of a More Data Driven Union

Episode 2 - How is AI being applied to improve $700B worth of grantmaking?

How is AI being applied to improve $700B worth of grantmaking?

Christina Ho is joined by prominent government leaders Larry Koskinen (Chief Risk Officer at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and Michael Peckham (Chief Financial Officer, Program Support Center at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) to discuss how AI is being applied to improve $700B worth of grantmaking. Listen as they discuss specific business challenges in grantmaking, opportunities in the grant space to leverage AI and other technology, and what some of their biggest lessons learned and motivators are after over 35 years in the government.

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In this episode you will learn:

  • Why grantmaking is important as a whole and individually as it relates to agency mission.
  • Specific problems where cutting edge innovation can be an employed as a practical solution.
  • What Larry and Michael have learned from solving their biggest challenges and what the outcomes were.
  • Some of the most significant AI opportunities in the grant area.
  • What Larry and Michael would you tell the other government leaders at grantmaking agencies if they want to improve grantmaking.
  • What motivates Larry and Michael to drive government innovation.

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About This Episode's Participants

Larry Koskinen | Guest

Larry Koskinen has served the public interest for more than forty years through executive positions in the federal government, commercial professional services firms, and non-profit organizations—both within the United States and abroad.  He is a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service, and is currently serving as Chief Risk Officer at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he leads HUD’s departmental enterprise and fraud risk management programs.  Prior to joining HUD, he served as an executive in the federal Inspector General community, managing data analytics, finance, human capital, information technology, strategic planning and support operations at the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.  He was Management Officer for Peace Corps International Operations and also Chief Business Architect.  He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines.

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Michael Peckham | Guest

Michael Peckham is the Chief Financial Officer and Director of the Financial Management Portfolio for the DHHS Program Support Center. He is a champion for positive change, creating new approaches to old problems through human-centered design, agile methodologies, microservices architecture, and applying emerging technology to promote data driven business decisions.
Mr. Peckham has successfully led multiple agency-wide initiatives including the ReImagine HHS ReInvent Grants Management transformation and the HHS DATA Act initiatives.

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Christina Ho | Host

Christina Ho is the former VP of Government Analytics & Innovation at Elder Research where she utilized decades of broad experience in public finance, policy development, strategic planning, program and financial management, accounting and auditing, data analytics, and technology innovation to enable impactful government actions and transformation. Among many accomplishments, she was the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Transparency at US Treasury and was responsible for leading the implementation of the DATA Act of 2014.

Key Moments From This Episode

3:31​ Larry talks about why grantmaking is important as a whole and how it relates to his specific agency mission and how AI has helped them.

4:43​ Michael also talks about the importance of grantmaking, how it relates to his specific agency mission and how AI has helped.

6:20​ Michael talks about the specific business problems that he was trying to solve when he was implementing the innovative programs.

12:35​ Larry talks about some of the challenges and lessons he has learned from working in a federal government.

18:05​ Michael talks about other opportunities he is seeing in the grant space when they leverage AI and other technology.

24:20​ Larry talks about what he would tell the government leaders who are in the grantmaking agency and want to improve grantmaking and do similar things they are doing.

30:43​ Michael talks about what drives him to do the hardest things in the government since innovating government is really hard.

32:44​ Larry also talks about where he gets the strength to do the hardest things in the government while he knows that innovating government is very challenging.