Meet the Congressional App Challenge’s new Program Director

CAC Program Director Joseph Alessi

Joseph Alessi, a non-profit management professional with a focus on educational programming, will lead the Congressional App Challenge (CAC) as the program prepares for its first competition under the 116th Congress. Mr. Alessi joins the Internet Education Foundation (IEF), the CAC’s official coordinator, as Program Director. The CAC is a congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in coding and computer science through an annual series of concurrent contests hosted by Members of Congress.

“Joe brings a exemplary background in educational programming to the effort, which is much needed at this phase of the project,” said Tim Lordan, Executive Director of the Internet Education Foundation.

Mr. Alessi is a career non-profit management professional, transforming the educational initiatives of educational foundations, trade associations, and political advocacy organizations. He joins IEF from the Zeta Psi Educational Foundation, where he recast their Leadership Training Program into a multi-platform membership development program serving all stages of the undergraduate lifecycle.

“I’m thrilled to be leading the Congressional App Challenge during a critical time for STEM education in the United States,” said Mr. Alessi. “The changing nature of work has led to an ever-expanding need for domestic computer science talent, and that talent must reflect the broad diversity of our greater population. I’m proud to have the opportunity to work with Members of Congress to inspire our next generation of coders.”

Mr. Alessi, a 2011 graduate of the University of Maryland’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, holds a degree in Government and Politics with a supporting sequence in Sociology. He resides in the District of Columbia.

In 2018, the CAC reached 223 congressional districts across 47 states and territories. Over 1,700 applications were created by 5,200 students, with participant demographics continuing to outstrip tech-industry diversity metrics. The CAC aims to continue its remarkable growth in 2019 and beyond.