About the IDEA Lab

The ultimate goal of the IDEA Lab is a more modern and effective government that is responsive to the needs and challenges of our times.

In 2013, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established the IDEA Lab to improve how the Department delivers on its mission. This effort was started as a response to input from the workforce and public to promote advances in organizational management centered around three core beliefs:

  • Every individual has the ability to improve the health and well-being of Americans;
  • People are more powerful when working together; and
  • There is a solution to every problem.

The IDEA Lab exists as the bridge between the old world and a vision of a new, networked world, where value is found in an individual’s talents and ideas, as opposed to their position in a hierarchical structure.

Our current approach consists of a number of programs and initiatives that: invest in internal innovation; leverage external innovation and build collaborative communities to tackle cross-cutting issues of strategic importance.

Learn more by visiting our Programs & Initiatives page.  Stay up-to-date on what we are doing at the HHS IDEA Lab by going to the blog or following us on twitter (@hhsidealab)


Meet the Team

Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer

Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer

Susannah Fox is the Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Susannah most recently served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the…

Elizabeth Kittrie, Senior Advisor

Elizabeth Kittrie, Senior Advisor

Elizabeth Kittrie is a Senior Advisor in the HHS IDEA Lab.  In that role, she focuses on open innovation, data policy, public access, and a…

Read Holman, Program Director

Read Holman, Program Director

Read Holman is a Program Director in the HHS IDEA Lab and Senior Advisor on Internal Entrepreneurship to the Chief Technology Officer. His focus is on…

Malini Sekhar, Communications Director

Malini Sekhar, Communications Director

Malini Sekhar is the Communicator-in-Residence in the HHS IDEA Lab.  She manages communications activities within the Lab.  Malini enjoys exploring and experimenting with new ways…

Mark Naggar, Project Manager

Mark Naggar, Project Manager

Mark is the Project Manager for the HHS Buyers Club, a HHS IDEA Lab sponsored project focused on addressing a critical problem in government: ineffective…

Julie Schneider, Program Manager

Julie Schneider, Program Manager

Julie is the program lead for HHS Entrepreneurs, an initiative that pairs high-risk, high-reward projects led by federal staff with entrepreneurs-in-residence recruited from outside of…

Will Yang, Internal Consultant

Will Yang, Internal Consultant

Will is a consultant in the Office of Business Management and Transformation, an internal consulting group within HHS and its Division of Administration. The group's…

Bonny Harbinger, Special Advisor

Bonny Harbinger, Special Advisor

Bonny Harbinger, Ph.D., J.D. is a Special Advisor in the HHS IDEA Lab.  In this role she supports the various innovation initiatives and programs supported…

Sandeep Patel, Open Innovation Manager

Sandeep Patel, Open Innovation Manager

Sandeep is the HHS Open Innovation Manager and leads the IDEA Lab HHS Competes pathway, which aims to make the department more open, participatory, and…

Serena L. Parks, Intern

Serena L. Parks, Intern

Serena L. Parks is an intern who provides administrative and program support to the IDEA Lab.  She spends substantial time working towards the goals of…