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DMV Regional Congress Meeting Highlights Opportunities from the National Science Foundation

Leaders From Across Sectors Discuss Connected DMV Initiatives Including Updates on Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center, the National Capital Hydrogen Center and Quantum World Congress

June 16, 2022 (Washington, D.C.)— Today, the DMV Regional Congress concluded its second quarterly meeting of 2022. Dr. Falecia D. Williams, Ed.D., the President of Prince George’s Community College, moderated this convening. Composed of nearly 70 leaders from private industries, academia, community, philanthropy, and the public sectors throughout Greater Washington, the DMV Regional Congress’ mission is to continue and sustain the advancements started by Connected DMV’s COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force.


Dr. Falecia Williams co-chairs the Connected DMV initiative NEXTversity, a comprehensive workforce development program that offers a pathway for underrepresented populations to gain the professional skills needed to access participants’ desired jobs with the potential for succession into subsequent leadership roles within professional service organizations in Greater Washington. It will also provide learning and support for managers to become better equipped to develop and retain diverse employees.


Stu Solomon, President and CEO of Connected DMV, opened with an overview of the Regional Congress, its history, and its purpose: “The role of this body is to represent academia, industry, the public sector, community, and philanthropy and ensure that all representatives have a co-equal seat at the table to continue the work already underway. We design economic renewal and social equity into our initiatives to help solve some of the greatest regional and national challenges,” Solomon concluded.


Today’s keynote speaker was Dr. Erwin Gianchandani, the Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP), who leads the newly established directorate at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF is an independent agency of the federal government, supporting fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering.

Gianchandani spoke about his role at the directorate and the new Regional Innovation Engines program. The Engines program will award approximately $160M over ten years to each of five regions to support the advancement of innovation ecosystems targeted at technologies critical to national competitiveness.


“For more than 70 years, NSF has worked to advance fundamental research and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This has resulted in new knowledge about our world that has directly impacted and improved people's everyday lives,” said Stu Solomon, President and CEO of Connected DMV. “The goals of the National Science Foundation’s new TIP Directorate and Connected DMV are closely aligned: to advance critical and emerging technologies and to address pressing societal and economic challenges.”


Today’s DMV Regional Congress agenda also included member spotlights from across the region, which provided the status and outlook for their respective sectors: Debora Rutter, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts; Jack Potter, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; and Radha Muthiah, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank.

During her comments, Muthiah highlighted today’s release of the Capital Area Food Bank’s 2022 Hunger Report. Among the staggering findings: one-third of residents – more than 1.2 million people – experienced food insecurity at some point during the previous year. The survey is the third Hunger Report issued by the Capital Area Food Bank.


The DMV Regional Congress also included updates and remarks from:

  • Dr. James Crowe, Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, and Founder & Chief Scientist of AHEAD100 regarding the status of Connected DMV’s Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center in Montgomery County, Maryland and the strategic plan to prevent future pandemics by developing a stockpile of human monoclonal antibodies in advance for emerging infectious diseases (the AHEAD100 program), and how accelerating the regulatory approval, production, and distribution of antibody countermeasures became the next critical endeavor. Immediate and equitable immunity is achievable today and we must accelerate and fund this pursuit in advance of the next outbreak.

  • Manny Rouvelas and David Wochner, Partners at K&L Gates on the new DMV Hydrogen Greenprint report by the National Capital Hydrogen Center that describes the creation of a hydrogen ecosystem in Greater Washington that fosters collaboration across organizations in support of the national imperative to add hydrogen solutions to our country’s clean energy future.

  • Jim Cook, VP for Strategic Engagement and Partnerships at The MITRE Corporation on the upcoming Quantum World Congress (QWC) to be held in Fall of 2022 in Washington, DC. QWC is the first to connect the world’s quantum ecosystem, bringing together researchers, innovators, developers, and industry experts to accelerate the value of the growing quantum industry.

Finally, the Congress received an update on the progress at National Landing by Amazon’s Head of HQ2 Policy, Brian Kenner regarding HQ2 development, and Virginia Tech’s Andrea Koslow who is Principal Partnerships Officer for the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, a first-of-its-kind graduate school focused on developing the tech talent pipeline in the nation’s capital. The two companies have partnered to advance research and innovation in artificial intelligence and machine learning.


The DMV Regional Congress convenes quarterly and is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Verizon, and Clark Construction. To learn more about its work and members, please visit https://connecteddmv.org/congress.

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About Connected DMV

Connected DMV is an initiatives-based, charitable 501(c)(3) organization that works with regional organizations across Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia – the DMV – to help drive ongoing improvements to social, digital, financial, and physical infrastructure. Connected DMV focuses on initiatives that span local jurisdictions and require collaboration across the public, private, academia, and community sectors to best achieve the dual objectives of enduring economic growth and social equity. Learn more: https://www.connecteddmv.org/