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Federal Innovators


Andy Black
CEO, Navanti Group

Company: Launched by Andy in 2008, Navanti solves big data challenges in developing countries where data and transparency can help government and commercial clients operate more effectively and thus stimulate economic and political development. Navanti gathers proprietary data sets from researchers, crowdsourcing and open sources. 
Innovative project: Used gamification with youth to promote constructive activism and peaceful development in an underprivileged part of Kenya. Thousands of people got involved and left a lasting impact. 
Innovation inspiration: As a researcher, saw important decisions being made in places like Africa with data from the British and French colonial era. Knew there was an opportunity to do things better.
Why this career: After 9/11, got involved with the Centre for the Study of Terrorism & Political Violence, a prominent security studies think tank. Got hooked working on projects covering Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia.
Grew up: On a farm in central Pennsylvania.
First professional job: Digital Sandbox, supporting DHS with development of a risk-based resource allocation methodology using background in anti-terrorism. 
Free time: Hiking, climbing, diving, golf, biking and ultimate Frisbee.
Family: Married, one daughter (born last year) and dog named Domino.
Favorite vacation spot: Marrakech, Morocco
Bucket list: Climb Kilimanjaro.
Daily habit: FaceTime with family when traveling.


Adam Vincent
CEO, ThreatConnect

Company: Helps security teams at Fortune 500 companies and government agencies aggregate threat data into a single platform, no matter the source. It then provides a place to analyze the data and lets users take action to block malicious activity and protect their networks. 
Innovative project: Recently launched free edition of ThreatConnect to help government efforts to encourage sharing of threat intelligence with and between private and public organizations.
Innovation inspiration: Companies like that have disrupted the business world. Hopeful that ThreatConnect can do the same for the security industry. 
Why this career: Was a dreamer from an early age and had dozens of ideas for products by college. Mother was a nurse and single mom, so had to work hard to overcome the situation. Enlisted in the Air National Guard and worked as an aircraft mechanic through college, where a passion for network security started.
Grew up: Catskill, NY
Why DC: After college, left job as airplane mechanic and took an entry-level job in DC. 
First job: Carvel and McDonald’s at a NY state thruway rest stop. “Still cringe when I see buses pull up.”
Free time: Outdoors, family, being on the water and home improvement.
Family: Married eight years, three children (4, 22 months and 6 weeks), and dog, Fresno.
Favorite vacation spot: Maui
Bucket list: Year-long family boating adventure to the Caribbean for winter and NY’s Hudson River for summer.
Daily habit: Try to brighten someone’s day with a smile and a warm hello. 
Startling fact: Career in computers started in telemarketing. Learned about selling to people on the phone, but then started doubling as a network administrator after seeing a need to share prospects and opportunities with other sales people. 

In case you missed the Federal Innovators we've already featured this month, click here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. And sign up for the June 11 event to honor all these outside-the-box thinkers in Crystal City. 

Big thanks to our partners on this project: Eastern Foundry, KPMG, NeoSystems, Sheppard Mullin and JLL.