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Robert Read


Robert L. Read helped start 18F. He is currently creating a charity Public Invention for All Humanity (PIFAH).

Previously, Rob served as Director of Product Development at Planview, Inc., where he led agile software development teams for six years. While doing so, he constructed the Merfluke 7, a functional but slow device for dolphin-like human-powered swimming. Before that Rob created a website programmed in LISP for forming human consensus, and maintained and improved the Elephant LISP-based database. He was a Principal Engineer at, where he wrote “How to be a Programmer” and was strongly influenced by Kent Beck. He has two patents in optics and solar energy. He received a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA from Rice University in computer science. Rob speaks Esperanto fluently, and has served on the board of Esperanto USA. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two nearly-grown children.