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Modernizing Congress U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer Applies Technology to Democracy

LegisPro: “Hudson Hollister  – We recently interviewed Rep. Derek Kilmer, Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. This transcript has been edited for clarity.”

  • Hudson Hollister – Representative Kilmer, Chairman of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, thank you so much for joining us.
  • Hudson Hollister – Congressman, tell us a bit about your passion for government innovation, the passion that brought you to decide to lead this committee.
  • Rep. Derek Kilmer – Well, I think there’s sort of two components of it for me. First, a lot of my background was in, in business and in economic development. I was a consultant for McKinsey and Company and then worked professionally in economic development. [In that industry] we’ve seen how innovation can drive organizational improvement. So, as an organizational improvement nerd, I thought, why wouldn’t we apply some of this to the workings of Congress? The second piece, just as an everyday American, is a belief that Congress ought to be working better on behalf of the American people. Part of the reason I came here, part of the reason I’m serving in this job is because I want things to work better – I want the federal government to work better. And I think my constituents want the federal government to work better. In the district I represent, the largest employer is the federal government. When there are government shutdowns, and when there’s continuing resolutions – when the car stalls out – my district and its citizens really feel it. And so, starting several years ago, you know, I was part of some bipartisan conversations about how we might drive some change in Congress to just make it work better. [Those conversations led to the formation of the Select Committee.]..”

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