The White House on the Road
With the commoditizaion of digital technologies for engagement, organizations are beginning to see the opportunity to go one step further by bridging the gap between the virtual and the physical worlds. Hear how a group inside the White House has launched a digitally-powered program to enable live engagement with Latin-America citizens throughout the US. A key component of the program is a multi-city event series where the White House will send officials to meet, engage, and work with local leaders on a wide range of projects. Featuring key White House staff leading this initiative, “THE WHITE HOUSE – ON THE ROAD” explores what could be the next frontier for interactive – “an intelligent return to the physical world.”
Giovanni Rodriguez is an author, entrepreneuer, and consultant on organizational leadership and social technology. Today, he is Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer at Deloitte Postdigital Enterprise where he is helping to design new services in the digital/social/mobile arena. Before Deloitte, he was Chief Marketing Officer at BroadVision (Nasdaq: BVSN), one of the world’s leading innovators in enterprise social networking. Before that, he was co-founder and managing partner of The Conversation Group (TCG), one of the first social-technology consulting firms. He is a regular contributor for Forbes and ClickZ, and he is currently writing a book on how mass movements are made on the new social Web (O'Reilly Media).
A pioneer in post-Web 2.0 communications, Giovanni has advised and consulted for numerous B2B leaders such as The New York Stock Exchange, SAP, Alcatel-Lucent, and Verizon Business, as well as leading consumer brands such as General Mills, Unilever, and Best Buy. He is also known for his work in positioning technology companies in transition, including FAST Search and Transfer (now Microsoft), Ribbit (now British Telecom), JAJAH (now Telefonica), and VMware, where he worked with the team that led the company’s entry into the enterprise software market.
Rodriguez is a founding fellow at the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR) and a board member at Latinos for Social Media (LATISM). He is a graduate of Princeton University.
José Antonio Rico is the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Named to his post on Dec. 7, 2011, Rico helps carry out President Obama’s efforts to improve the academic achievement of Hispanic students. He came to the Department as a senior adviser in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education on April 29, 2009, and most recently served as the White House Initiative’s deputy director since Feb. 1, 2010.
Born in the small town of Jeruco, México, 7-year-old José and his brother, Carlos, immigrated to the United States, where his father was a railroad worker and his mother was a housewife. His sister, Florentina, was born after the family settled in Chicago.
Rico attended public schools in Chicago and graduated from the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, where he made the dean’s list and won a full-ride scholarship to study mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois–Urbana. After a six-month internship as a staff engineer at Amoco during his senior year, Rico realized he’d lost interest in engineering and took a job as a science teacher at Chicago’s Latino Youth Alternative High School, where he taught for the next three years.
From 1995 to 1997, he served as the program director for Public Allies, a Chicago nonprofit dedicated to community service, and, during this time, in May 1996, he finished his bachelor’s degree at Northeastern Illinois University.
In 1997, he went to work for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Rights, organizing its “Removing Barriers to Education” campaign, working with parents around the state to see that their children were not denied access to education.
Two years later, he was hired by the University of Illinois–Chicago’s Small Schools Workshop to help develop small, innovative learning communities in public schools. During this time, he worked as a school improvement coach and on charter school projects with the Knowledge Works Foundation and the National Council of La Raza. While at UI–Chicago, he also completed a master’s degree in curriculum instruction in 2003.
In 2004, while still working for UI–Chicago, Rico completed a second master’s, this time in administration, at National-Louis University as a principal resident in the New Leaders for New Schools program.
As Chicago’s Multicultural Arts High School opened in 2005, Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan named Rico its first principal. It was quite an achievement, considering that Rico and 13 other members of the Lawndale–Little Village neighborhood had gone on a 19-day hunger strike starting on Mother’s Day weekend in 2001 to call attention to repeated delays by previous administrators in approving the school. Rico served as the founding principal of the school, which has 24 teachers and an enrollment of 350, until he joined ED in 2009.
Rico, his wife, Angélica, a registered nurse, and their daughter and two sons live in Washington, D.C., where the three children, a preschooler, a kindergartener, and an eighth-grader attend public schools.