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This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. There’s a lively debate about the about the domestic use of drones. From package delivery to cropdusting to filmmaking and business security… There’s a drone for that! As quickly as the innovators are developing new ways to use the technology, policymakers are curbing and restricting their use in the interest of public safety.

Lisa Ellman, Obama Administration veteran and pioneering drones policy advisor, believes that government policy and entrepreneurial innovation work best together. She believes the key to balancing these opportunities and challenges is a true integration of policy and innovation, which she calls “Polivation”. Policymakers must promote innovation, and innovators must work hand in hand with policymakers. This compelling talk from TEDxBeaconStreet teaches us how our country can make good use of new technologies, including drones, in a way that wins the public’s trust and serves its interests.

Nearly eight years ago, Lisa Ellman began working for her former law professor – Barack Obama. Since then, she has held a variety of positions at top levels of the Executive branch at the White House and Department of Justice; most recently, she led the DOJ’s effort to develop policy that would govern the use of drones in the U.S. Ms. Ellman is now in private public policy practice at McKenna Long & Aldridge and chair of the firm’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Group. There she uses her experience in the federal government to help bridge the sizable knowledge gap between government policymaking and business innovation.

About the Speaker

Lisa Ellman

Lisa Ellman

Lisa Ellman is a Counsel in the Washington, DC office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and serves as Co-chair of the firm’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Group. She is a member of the firm’s Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs practice and serves on the Federal Government Affairs team. Her practice focuses on legislative and public policy issues in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with an emphasis on emerging high level trends, including commercial and private UAS. Ellman has deep substantive experience and perspective in law and policy at the top levels of the Executive branch in positions both at the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice. As Senior Counsel in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, Ellman worked to develop and implement policy initiatives of high priority to the Obama Administration. Most recently, Ellman led the Department’s Working Group on Domestic Use of UAS. She also represented the Justice Department in the interagency process considering UAS-related policy issues that are shared across departments and agencies. Earlier in the Obama Administration, Ellman served in senior positions within three White House agencies: the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Management and Budget / Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and the Office of Presidential Personnel.