TheBridge profile: Tom Mooney
Name: Tom Mooney
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: Senior Director, Connected Car & Policy Communications at HARMAN
Past job: Cyber security strategy leader at Booz Allen Hamilton; Program Manager, Auto-ISAC
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Compass Coffee on 14th St
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. As a former consultant, and even today, I rely heavily on the subtle art of "Nemawashi" - A Japanese term that refers to the informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback - It is especially handy when managing a Board of Directors or attempting to influence a diverse group of decision makers.
Q. Job advice in three words? Attention to detail.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? Education and engagement - Not too long ago, there was a headline in the Washington Post that read "I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say': How Congress is struggling to get smart on tech" I won't name the Congressional leader quoted there, but that was a real call to action for HARMAN - we are a market leader when it comes to developing cutting edge connected vehicle technologies, and smart tech like ours requires smart public policy - To that end, HARMAN and technology advocates of all kinds need to educate our lawmakers and regulators any chance we get so these technologies aren't abstract concepts, but rather, things they understand in application.
Q. What can innovators and regulators teach each other? That the two aren't mutually exclusive, but at the same time, shouldn't be bound by similar expectations. Each however, has a responsibility to engage and learn from one and other for the benefit of society.
Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? There isn't a right path, only the one that works for you.
Q. Which Member of Congress / regulator is most tech savvy? Not a U.S. leader, but recently we met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem - I was struck by his understanding of transportation technology and mobility. At 70 years old, he had a vision for a technology enabled future that was more advanced than some people half his age!
Q. Last time you were completely unplugged? Is that even possible anymore? Even my dog has a profile in the cloud.
Q. How do you unwind after work? I play hockey. Twice on Sunday, once on Wed night. Best way forget DC antics for a while
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