Meet the Executive Advisory Team

The state and local government and education market segments are critical paths for unprecedented transformation. They are met with changing business models, cost reduction pressure, and increasing cybersecurity threats. And, there is increasing need for data transparency and constituent and student engagement. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) public sector executive advisory team is experienced when it comes to understanding these environments and market transitions impacting their industries.

About the advisors

Our executive advisors strive to help AWS customers achieve their business outcomes by leveraging the richness of the cloud computing platform to drive the right business solutions, enable the technology ecosystem supporting government, and address changing industry needs.

Our advisors support and guide government and education leaders to think strategically and analytically about their business, product, and technical challenges. The advisory team encourages these leaders to build and convey compelling value propositions and to see the value of working cross-organizationally to shape consensus.

Laura Avent
Executive Government Advisor
Digital Innovation & Transformation

As an Executive Government Advisor, Laura works with state and local government executives to plan large and complex digital transformation programs, course correct existing programs and modernize their existing IT portfolio while minimizing business disruption.
 

Jayson Dunn
Executive Government Advisor
Local Government

As an Executive Government Advisor, Jayson works with state and local government executives and agency leaders to identify modern technology solutions to longstanding challenges in governmental operations. Jayson’s areas of focus and expertise are city and county government, public safety, cybersecurity, and performance management.

 

Mark Hampton
Executive Education Advisor

Executive
Education
Advisor

 

As an Executive Education Advisor, Mark works with higher education executives and line-of-business leaders to understand how cloud technologies can enable digital transformation efforts around the effective use of data and analytics.

Danielle Hinz
Executive Government Advisor
Procurement


As an Executive Government Advisor, Danielle helps public sector customers understand how to procure and contract for cloud technology solutions. Prior to joining AWS Danielle spent over 20 years in public sector procurement including higher education and local government.

Morgan Reed
Leader, Executive Advisory, State & Local Government

 

As an Executive Government Advisor, Morgan works with senior leaders from public sector organizations and their partners to share real-world examples of innovation in government, and develop strategies for modernizing citizen services with the cloud.

Carlos Rivero
Executive Government Advisor
Data

As an executive government advisor, Carlos is a public sector data practice subject matter expert who specializes in helping organizations leverage data to make informed, actionable decisions. He also works with Chief Data Officers, Geospatial Information Officers, and other data leaders to develop mission-driven data programs.

 

Maria Thompson
Executive Government Advisor
Cybersecurity

As an Executive Government Advisor, Maria specializes in helping customers establish a security first baseline within their environments. Maria works with security and technology leadership for customers, identifying trends, best practices, and assisting them in developing holistic security strategies.
 

Jan Day
Executive Education Advisor

As an Executive Education Advisor, Jan works with leaders of higher education institutions and higher education professional associations to understand the needs of students, faculty, staff and researchers. Jan’s areas of focus include enterprise technology, cybersecurity, and research computing.

Woman looking at computer
Brief

Data for public good: how Virginia’s VAST overcomes human trafficking’s data deficit

By Carlos Rivero, Executive Government Advisor

From bustling cities to remote corners of the world, the human trafficking trade thrives, preying on vulnerability and despair. The state of Virginia is no exception. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DJCS) created Virginia Analysis System for Trafficking or VAST, which tackled this problem head on. By connecting agencies, breaking down silos, and revealing hidden patterns, VAST has remarkably transformed the way stakeholders respond to human trafficking.

Students studying
Webinar

Getting started with AI chatbots: tips and tools for the public sector

By Laura Avent, Executive Government Advisor 

Keeping up with technology is a perpetual exercise for state and local government agencies. So, many organizations are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) to give them the edge to help automate and scale. One entry point is generative AI chatbots, which are opening doors to enable capabilities and savings not previously realized and transforming the constituent experience. Hear how customers just like you took their first steps.

Government worker talking to coworker
White paper

Gaining Ground on Digital Equity

By Laura Avent, Executive Government Advisor

State and local government leaders strive to help their communities participate in today’s digital world.  But how can you turn that action into impact? Learn about a five-point strategy bringing hope to state and local agencies.

AWS Secret Region
Blog

Whole-of-state cybersecurity: How to implement and build a sustainable program

By Maria Thompson, Executive Government Advisor

A grant program, now in its second year, is providing state, local, and tribal governments funding to address cybersecurity risks and threats to information systems. More than $374M is being allocated to build and strengthen the cyber posture of state and local governments and territories.

However, they need to act quickly and think strategically about their approach to building a resilient and holistic whole-of-state (WOS) cybersecurity program. Take a look at the blog post for examples of states that have had success in establishing a WOS footprint and for an outline of best practices to consider in your cybersecurity program.

Students studying
Brief

What it means now that AI/ML is available on campus

By Mark Hampton, Executive Education Advisor

When a few George Washington University (GW) students improperly used generative artificial intelligence (AI), the school didn’t ban it – they turned it into a teachable moment. Understand how the institution’s Provost created a learning experience for faculty, staff, and students regarding what AI can and can’t do and the potential impact.

This brief, informed by executive education advisor, Mark Hampton, explores with GW creative ways to use generative AI tools in the service of learning and to measure student performance and progression. Institutions can look to GW’s real-world experience with generative AI for current best practices.

Government worker talking to coworker
Whitepaper

Modernize to thrive: A holistic approach to delivering digital equity

By Kimberley Williams, SEIT leader, and Laura Avent, Executive Government Advisor 

Technology modernization is fundamental to digital equity. This white paper leverages key findings from Amazon Web Services (AWS) sponsored research on digital equity activities in state and local jurisdictions, K12, and higher education.

It provides initial analysis, and communicates key takeaways from government and industry interviews on ways to move forward, such as six key steps to drive digital equity. 

Additionally, hear from AWS at the virtual summit, Advancing digital equity in state and local government. It features rapid roundtables, inspirational talks and intriguing fireside chats with public sector leaders.

Public sector leaders, whether in state and local government or education, are hungry for answers on generative artificial intelligence (Generative AI). Government Technology launched a first-of-its-kind “Ask the Experts” series with Amazon Web Services (AWS), as the sole sponsor, to share expertise around this topic and answer many of your burning questions. Choose from five 30-minute on-demand conversations.

Public Sector Innovation Centers

Public sector innovation centers provide an opportunity to collaborate on pressing challenges, test new ideas with Amazon’s innovation process, and access the technology expertise of Amazon Web Services (AWS).