Rep. Suzan DelBene
Representative, Washington's 1st District
House of Representatives
For technology-executive-turned-Rep. Suzan DelBene, technology isn't a separate issue – it's related to everything Congress does.
“I think information technology and technology kind of permeates everything that we do," DelBene said. “When we look at industries and government, we see that technology has created incredible opportunities as well."
DelBene is the Democratic co-chair of the Congressional High-Tech Women's Caucus and a co-chair of the Congressional Internet of Things Caucus. Right now, she's focused on using the power of the legislative branch to update electronic communications laws, examine spectrum and net neutrality, and concentrate on cybersecurity.
“We're having a big conversation across the country on education and making sure we have education in STEM fields," DelBene said. “I'm a big advocate, though, of making sure that we have creativity in there as well. We also want to make sure that we have great innovators, and part of that is knowing that people come at analytical and technical issues in different ways."
Through initiatives like Hour of Code, DelBene said young people can get exposure early on to science, technology and computer science careers.
“There are so many exciting things happening, and technology is a piece of helping enable great new ideas," DelBene said.
DelBene said the person she has become is due to the opportunities that were available to her. Through technology, she's looking to make sure that others have those opportunities as well, she said.
“[Technology] is going to be an area I think you're going to see a lot more focus and work because we have incredible opportunities going forward, but we have to make sure that policy isn't behind, and right now it is. We can do a better job making sure policy is up to date and not getting in the way of innovation."
– Jake Williams