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Joint Venture appoints federal outreach director

Indira Balkissoon to lead initiative seeking greater federal investment in Silicon Valley

SAN JOSE, Calif. - July 8, 2010 - Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network today named prominent environmental consultant and former EPA executive Indira Balkissoon Director of Federal Outreach Programs, a newly created role overseeing a regional effort to increase the level of investment being made by the federal government in Silicon Valley in clean tech, alternative energy, energy storage, health IT, disaster-related IT and homeland security.

The campaign is in response to findings in Joint Venture's 2010 Silicon Valley Index that Silicon Valley has fallen woefully behind other tech regions in the U.S. in federal government investment. Balkissoon and Joint Venture will administer the program under the guidance of a steering committee that includes Silicon Valley Community Foundation (which provided a grant to fund the director position), the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Bay Area Council, the NASA/Ames Research Center, the University of California at Santa Cruz and Stanford University.

“Indira brings strong credentials in both the federal government and private sector to this important role for Silicon Valley,” said William Berry, President University Associates – Silicon Valley, and a member of the federal outreach steering committee. “Her background, connections and understanding of the challenge together with her energy and enthusiasm made her the ideal choice for the committee.”

Balkissoon has spent the past 20 years working with government and private sector organizations to manage environmental programs, including nine years with the EPA in Boston, where Al Gore honored her for her work in Superfund and other community-based programs. Most recently, she has been a principal consultant for North American climate change services for Det Norske Veritas.She also held senior executive postions with TechLaw.

Balkissoon holds a master's in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Goverment, a MS in geology from the New Mexico Insititute of Mining and Technology, and an undergraduate degree in geology and anthropology from Beloit College.

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