Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder of Civic Hall, a collaborative work center, and event space currently located in the Flatiron district of Manhattan supporting a growing community of people and organizations building technology solutions for the public good. Civic Hall is also in the process of constructing a new 80,000 sq. ft.facility called Civic Hall @ Union Square to expand its work and create a new Digital Skills Training center for underserved individuals and communities. Andrew is also the Founder of annual Personal Democracy Forum the world's largest and best known gathering focusing on the intersection of technology, politics, and government. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the NY Tech Alliance, a 60,000+-member organization of New Yorkers from diverse industries working in the New York technology ecosystem. He is the Founder of MOUSE.org which provides technology education in public schools in New York and many other global locations. He was a founding Senior Technology Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation a Washington DC organization using technology to make government more transparent and accountable. Andrew lives and works near Union Square in New York City, and can be followed on twitter at @Rasiej.



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Extended Bio: 

Andrew Rasiej is a civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder of Civic Hall, a collaborative work center, and event space currently located in the Flatiron district of Manhattan supporting a growing community of people and organizations building technology solutions for the public good. Civic Hall is also in the process of constructing a new 80,000 sq. ft.facility called Civic Hall @ Union Square to expand its work and create a new Digital Skills Training center for underserved individuals and communities. Andrew is also the Founder of annual Personal Democracy Forum the world's largest and best known gathering focusing on the intersection of technology, politics, and government. He is the Chairman Emeritus off the NY Tech Alliance, a 63,000+-member organization of New Yorkers from diverse industries working in the New York technology ecosystem. He is the Founder of MOUSE.org which provides technology education in public schools in New York and many other global locations. He was a founding Senior Technology Advisor to the Sunlight Foundation a Washington DC organization using technology to make government more transparent and accountable. Andrew lives and works near Union Square in New York City, and can be followed on twitter at @Rasiej.

Andrew is a civic entrepreneur and technology strategist who has counseled political leaders, senior government officials, not for profit and foundation heads, and academics in the United States and abroad on issues related to civic engagement, technology, transparency, digital diplomacy and campaign strategy. Andrew got his start working at the intersection of technology and politics in 1999 offering early new media advice to leaders like Hillary and Bill Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and Congressional Minority leader Dick Gephardt. In 2003, presidential candidate Howard Dean and his campaign manager Joe Trippi named him co-chairman of the TechnologyAdvisory Committee for the Dean for America Campaign which demonstrably moved all political campaigns into the digital future—by pioneering tactics in online constituency development, community building, and networked political fundraising in strategically orchestrated and thoughtful ways.

After the 2004 presidential campaign, Andrew founded Personal Democracy Forum—an internationally known cross-partisan conference series that examines and analyzes how technology is impacting the evolving global political landscape while illuminating how activists, organizers, technologists, journalists, politicians, and government officials are advancing democratic ideals, using digital media to facilitate a more participatory, connective and transparent world. His commitment to finding and promoting digital solutions for a more open and accountable government extended to his former role as the senior technology advisor to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2006, which works to use the power of technology and citizen use of the internet to promote greater government transparency and accountability.

To help demonstrate the potential of the technology to empower local communities, in 2005 Andrew ran a highly publicized campaign for the office of New York City Public Advocate promoting many ideas now being championed by politicians in NYC and elsewhere such as inexpensive public WiFi, using social media to report potholes and other local infrastructure issues, and connecting citizens to each other to improve their neighborhoods and communities. The New work Times columnist, Tom Friedman, cited Andrew as “the most ‘wired’ political candidate in the country” and referenced his campaign in his book “The World Is Flat”

Andrew's belief that technology could empower citizen engagement originally took hold in 1997 when he founded MOUSE.org(Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education)—a nonprofit helping under-served public school students to become technology leaders in their schools. To date over 50,000 students have benefited from the MOUSE program nationally and it continues to expand in the United States as well as internationally..

In the wake of the September 11 tragedy he mobilized dozens of volunteers to aid in relief and recovery efforts and subsequently proposed creating a national emergency technology corps to be organized for future natural disasters or terrorist attacks. After his lobbying, and with the help of Senator Ron Wyden, Congress voted 97-0 to create the National Emergency Technology Guard (NET Guard) in 2002, which was later incorporated into the law creating the Department of Homeland Security. This program is now part of FEMA and is known as Tech Corps

In 2010 Andrew was named chairman of the New York Tech MeetUp,and now named the NY Tech Alliance, an organization comprising more than 63,000 entrepreneurs, technologists, venture capitalists, and other professionals working in and around the tech ecosystem of New York City.

Prior to a life in politics and education, Andrew founded several music-focused enterprises including: Irving Plaza, the world-famous Gramercy Park/Union Square music ballroom; Digital Club Network, the first live music streaming and archiving channel on the internet; and, Plug-In, the first conference focused exclusively on the future of digital music distribution. While operating Irving Plaza he also founded the New York Night Life Association to promote the hundreds of clubs and live music venues in New York City as an integral part of its economic vibrancy and cultural scene.

He is a graduate of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, an alumnus of the prestigious David Rockefeller Fellowship Program administered by the New York City Partnership. Andrew lives and works in New York City. Follow him on Twitter at @Rasiej.