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From Google to the Pentagon: My Experience with the Air Force’s Public-Private Talent Exchange

As a Google Public Sector Customer Engineer, I recently had the incredible opportunity to pilot a unique initiative: working directly for the U.S. Air Force via the Department of Defense’s Public-Private Talent Exchange (PPTE) program. This program allows temporary talent exchange between DoD agencies and private companies, fostering collaboration and innovation to help drive mission outcomes forward.

Walking into the Pentagon

Stepping into the Pentagon in September 2023, I felt the weight of history and the buzz of innovation. After navigating the unique onboarding process, I found myself collaborating with some of the most dedicated individuals I’ve ever met. Under the guidance of Jason Bonci, the DAF’s Chief Technology Officer, I became a tech translator for the Department of the Air Force (DAF), the entity overseeing the Air and Space Forces.

Bridging the divide

My mission? To bridge the gap between the public and private sector by sharing my cloud and engineering expertise. We crafted five-year roadmaps, sketched out architecture diagrams, and brainstormed ways to revolutionize data sharing through APIs. It was like building a bridge between two worlds, with each side contributing its unique strengths.

This wasn’t just a one-way street. While I shared Google’s innovative spirit and technical insights, I gained invaluable insight into the DAF’s complex operations and critical needs. This immersive experience gave me a deeper understanding of their challenges and a newfound appreciation for the dedication of these public-sector trailblazers.

The best is yet to come

Returning to Google, I’m a transformed engineer. I’m equipped with fresh, mission-focused perspectives, a broader understanding of government challenges, and stronger relationships with key players in the DAF. This exchange has fueled my passion for serving Google Public Sector and its customers, eager to bring the best of both worlds to the table.

But the adventure doesn’t end here. This pilot program is just the launchpad. Google Public Sector is working to expand this collaborative initiative, sending more bright minds into government agencies and expanding partnerships across different branches. We’re on the verge of a new era of public-private collaboration, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

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