TheBridge profile: Bishop Garrison

TheBridge profile: Bishop Garrison

Garrison_Headshot_LS.jpg

Name: Bishop Garrison

Current city: Arlington, VA

Current job: Interim Executive Director, Truman National Security Project and Truman Center for National Policy

Past job: Deputy Foreign Policy Adviser, Hillary for America; Various National Security Positions in the Obama Administration; former Army Officer and Iraq War Veteran

Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Compass Coffee at 14th and I St NW

Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. You have to remain flexible. Things rarely go exactly according to plan, so be prepared to adjust your actions in order to find success. I learned early in my military service and again later in politics that issues appear, but it’s not the end of the world—you just have to work quickly and calmly to navigate them, and be unafraid to ask questions as you do it.

Q. Job advice in three words? "All work is admirable." - Colin Powell. (I cheated, that's technically four words.)

Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? We're re-branding and adjusting the focus of one of our membership organization’s expert groups specifically to focus on innovation and technology policy and trends within national security. This group of policy professionals and political leaders will be focused on several topics to include cybersecurity, election security, the Internet of Things, and innovation in the defense industry, among other topics. Additionally, I'm joining masthead of a soon-to-be launched digital journal that focuses on the nexus between policy, politics, tech and innovation.

Q. What can Silicon Valley (innovators) teach DC (regulators)? How to move faster to support innovative ideas once they've been identified. In one of my positions in the Obama Administration, I worked in Science and Technology for Homeland Security, looking for possible improvements around public-private partnerships and how we could help entrepreneurs navigate the bureaucracy of government acquisitions. The next great innovative solutions to problems facing both the private sector and government are going to come from the girl or guy in their dorm room or basement that are dedicated to seeing a brilliant passion come to fruition, and less and less from industry skunkworks or government labs; we have to adapt to that change now.

Q. What can DC (regulators) teach Silicon Valley (innovators)? Structure isn't always a bad thing. Having clear processes in place that govern investment, project oversight, and provide mentorship—as well as practices that celebrate diversity and inclusion, which produce better outcomes and also just happen to be morally right—are critical to the long-term success of both government and industry. DC is beginning to understand that, though to be fair it is (arguably) only slightly ahead of Silicon Valley.

Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? Relax. Just relax. Focus on what you need to get accomplished, but know that you're going to be okay.

Q. What's one piece of advice you are still trying to master? You don't need to be the lead in everything you do. A can-do, take charge attitude is great, but you still just need to be a good follower some days.

Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? Being a solid, attentive listener.

Q. Best advice you’ve received? If you're in the room, you're supposed to be in the room.

Q. Living person you admire? Chrissy Teigen - her dedication to family, personal mental health, strong and vocal political beliefs, and she's really funny.

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