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Work Summary

Founding Partner, Zakon Group LLC, 2001-Present

Presidential Innovation Fellow, White House, 2016-2017

Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer (CTO),, Inc., 1999-2001

Principal Engineer, Tech Ambassador & Internet Evangelist, MITRE Corporation, 1992-1999

Director, Distributed Decision Making Research Lab, Weatherhead School of Management, 1990-1992

Independent Consultant, 1988-1990 (sample clients: VA Hospital, Apple Computer, NCR Corp)

Selected Accomplishments

  • Served as White House Presidential Innovation Fellow bringing the principles, values, and practices of the innovation economy into the federal government.
  • Provided expert guidance on: FDA's $2B ICT21 procurement; HHS CMS' electronic health records security architecture; and HHS CMS' 100M+ enterprise identity management requirements
  • Lead developer for the commercial open source OpenConf peer-review and event management system used for thousands of events in more than 100 countries
  • Set the vision and led the development and operations of a consumer software portal and ASP, while at the same time building up a new organization, raising venture capital, hiring and managing senior and junior team members, overseeing and evaluating service providers, and ensuring coordination and collaboration across all corporate sectors.
  • As a Tech Ambassador, spent one year at DoD MITRE sites around the world educating engineers and managers on emerging technologies, facilitating collaboration with their corporate counterparts, and developing capabilities to improve DoD processes.
  • Led the deployment of a multi-national network for the sharing of open sources among the intelligence components of various countries. Brought in to jumpstart this stalled program, with responsibility for both the design and implementation of the network and information infrastructures, and to lead technical discussions with government officials of participating and interested countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, UK).
  • Integrated the first machine translation system with the Web, pre-dating similar Internet capabilities by more than three years. This capability has been deployed and used worldwide since the early 1990s.
  • Designed and developed one of the first corporate intranets, MITRE's Information Infrastructure (MII), and presented the novel (for the time) work at WWW3.
  • Designed and deployed the highest wireless network (WiFi - 802.11) in the Eastern U.S. spanning 8KM in support of a backcountry solar-powered weather sensing and camera station
  • Designed, developed, and managed dozens of websites, including several sites receiving millions of daily hits.
  • Volunteered as a business mentor with SCORE for over fifteen years.
  • Founded a public school STEM club and coached an award-winning robotics team for over five years.


Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland, OH

  • M.S. Computer Engineering & Science
  • B.S. Computer Engineering major with Psychology and Philosophy concentrations

The Peddie School, Hightstown, NJ

Gordonstoun International Summer School, Elgin, Scotland

Colégio Andrews, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fluent in English and Portuguese; speaking ability in Spanish

Selected Professional Activities

  • Senior Fellow, Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA)
  • Senior Member, IEEE
  • Board of Advisors Member, First Run Angels Group
  • Mentor, SCORE
  • Chairman, Organizing and Steering Committee Member, ACSAC (Security Conference)
  • Chairman, SIGNIDR V (Networked Information Discovery & Retrieval Conference)
  • Co-Chairman, User Interface Symposium
  • Coordinator, Foreign Language Technology Symposium
  • Author of Hobbes' Internet Timeline, published in thousands of magazines, books, and web sites
  • Presenter at dozens of conferences, symposia, and invited keynotes, including the WWW (W3C) Conference, OWASP AppSec Conferences, and NATO Information Systems Management Conference
  • Author of over 50 technical papers and briefings ranging in topic from information security and Internet technologies to multilingual computing and technology policy

Selected Awards and Testimonials

Testimonial, Lead Government Contractor
"You are a professional with tremendous skills, you are an asset to every team you work with, and we value your help at all times."
Recognition Award, OSIS International – secure multinational VPN
"Your efforts have resulted in a solution that allows International ... access securely using low-cost commercial technologies in an innovative manner"
Recognition Award, BCS – first bilingual (English/Japanese) Intelink extranet
"Your contributions ... are indicative of the type of behavior that adds value and reflects well on MITRE"
Testimonial, Non-Profit Executive Director
"And I personally thank Robert for his patience, expertise and ingenuity for making this very, very complicated upgrade to our site happen. I can't even imagine where we would be without Robert!"
Director's Distinguished Accomplishment Award, WebMT – first web language translation
"Despite an extremely aggressive schedule, and a limited budget, The ... Team rapidly defined, designed, and deployed"   —   "Working with initially vague requirements, the indefatigable ... Team worked long hours to ensure an excellent product which received customer praise"

Director's Distinguished Accomplishment Award, MITRE Information Infrastructure (intranet)

Program Achievement Award, Intelligence Community Open Source Capabilities Database

Special Recognition Award, NASA Spacelink Interface Study
"Your contributions were outstanding and performed under difficult conditions, including short turnaround time and limited funds. Your participation was critical to the success"

Testimonial, OpenConf Client: "Thanks a million, Robert. You are one in a million."

For more detailed information, see my vitae: