TheBridge profile: Rebecca Fair
Name: Rebecca Fair
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: CEO of Thresher
Past job: Manager in the Intelligence Community
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Greenberry's in McLean, VA
Q. What is your career advice in three words? Always be creating.
Q. Describe one way how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job. In the intelligence community, it was our job to create decision advantage for US policymakers. We often had scant, incomplete and/or conflicting information. We needed to communicate our analysis quickly and clearly on difficult, high-stakes issues. And sometimes the message was not good news. I've used all of these skills in my role as CEO and co-founder. I analyze and make decisions with incomplete information. I communicate the news, both good and bad, as clearly and quickly as possible to our employees, customers, and partners.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? We are working on increasing the transparency of the data that analysts are using to train their AI. By making data choices transparent, we can facilitate conversations between the technologists, analysts and policy makers. We work on hard problems with solutions that are usually gray - not black or white. It's important that the policy makers know the starting-point for an AI-based recommendation.
Q: Best advice you've received? "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." Ok, so I didn't technically receive that advice. It's a quote I've seen attributed to John D. Rockefeller and Kenny Rogers. But I've found it a valuable motivator over the years. It is relatively easy to see when it's time to end something bad for something better. It is hard to have the courage to end something good to start something new that might be great.