Brian Forde is a technology entrepreneur and former Senior Advisor in the Obama White
House. Forde has spent the last twenty years working to ensure new technologies
improve the lives of all Americans. This passion started in his hometown in California’s
45th District, where he built his first computer, started his first company, and took his first college course at Irvine Valley College.
Most recently, Forde founded the research group on digital currencies at the
world-renowned MIT Media Lab and advised world leaders on blockchain, a revolutionary
technology often described as “the next Internet.” For his work, Forde was recognized as
one of the ten most influential people in the world on bitcoin and blockchain.
Forde previously served as a Senior Advisor in the Obama White House, where he led the
Administration’s efforts to leverage technology in support of critical national priorities. A
passionate advocate of diversity in the tech sector, Forde launched the White House Tech
Inclusion and TechHire Initiatives, bringing together leaders from the technology
community, large corporations, and advocacy groups to support the hiring and training of more women and minorities in tech.
Forde was also a key contributor to the Administration’s work on climate change. He spearheaded President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative, which provided local citizens, city planners, hospital administrators, and business leaders with data-driven tools to make America’s communities more resilient to climate change. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he worked closely with members of the President’s Cabinet and tech CEOs to improve the government’s response to natural disasters and provide critical support to survivors and first responders. After Detroit declared bankruptcy, Forde convened an innovation task force of top municipal technology leaders and then supported the city in its implementation of a technological revitalization plan to dramatically improve government efficiency and customer service.
In recognition of his work at the White House, Forde was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Prior to his government service, Forde brought technological innovation to the rural mountain communities of Nicaragua by starting a Skype-like telephone company with a local friend. By installing 80-foot internet towers in towns across the country, Forde and his business partner were able to lower the cost of a phone call to the U.S. by 90%. Forde’s business, Llamadas, S.A., quickly became one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua, saving families millions of dollars each year. Llamadas, S.A. has been identified as a pioneer for deploying cost-saving technology in the developing world and was recognized by the U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua as one of the country’s most innovative companies in the fight against poverty.