shift7 was founded to further the impact of our team’s unusual ‘bilingual’ experience of executing effectively in both the technology sector and public service.


In both sectors, we met and worked with extraordinary colleagues, but we found too little cross-pollination. When given the chance, we were able to dramatically accelerate work by creating cross-functional teams who understood - only together - how to address incredibly complex challenges.

Collaboratively, we drove new methods and progress, blending tried+true approaches from both tech and government sectors, and creating new hybrids. 

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The Team

The shift7 team includes a diversity of experts with track records of transformational achievement in technology, Federal and regional government, the United Nations, industry, academia, management consulting, arts and entertainment, and the non-profit sector. We structure ourselves in three dimensions: core and extended team (full and plus-time), and a talent network we spin up for particular project burst engagements.



J. Smith

Founder & CEO

Award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. Served as the third U.S. chief technology officer from 2014-2017 after spending eleven years as vice president at Google leading new business development, and later at Google[x]. PlanetOut CEO, General Magic and co-founder of the Malala Fund. Board member of MIT, Vital Voices; Member, National Academy of Engineering.



Kaur Ahira

Co-Founder & Chief Architect

Served in the White House as Special Advisor to the US CTO and Assistant to President Obama. Previously she was the Program Director at Solve for X at Google[x] and a Portfolio Analyst at Goldman Sachs. Puneet is an Oxford Graduate in Human Sciences and Industrial Ecology, a board member of Global Minimum and an Advisor to Fab City.




Co-Founder, Chief of Strategy & Ops

While leading the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) from 2014-2018, she co-created the UN Solutions Summit to lift up entrepreneurs advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and led global public participation in UN General Assembly high-level events, including the SDG negotiations and Summit, the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, and dialogues with the candidates for UN Secretary-General. Yale University graduate.




Program Operations

Joined shift7 after competing for five years with Team USA on the United States National Volleyball Team that was ranked #1 in the world. Upon retiring from the US team, she coached the 2016 National Championship Stanford Volleyball Team before developing an education outreach program for the civic engagement program, Countable. Cassidy graduated from Stanford in 2011 with a BA in Political Science and an MA in History.

Anjali Sastry

Senior Advisor | Senior Lecturer MIT

Faculty of MIT Sloan School of Management as a Senior Lecturer. Explores practical aspects of organizational and managerial effectiveness in settings facing complex challenges and pressing needs and brings expertise in system dynamics. Founded and led Global Health Lab and has carried out over 100 high impact field projects in the developing world. MIT B.S. Physics and Russian; PhD U Michigan.

Jennifer Erickson

Media + Economic Uplift Expert

Served as Assistant Director of Innovation for Growth in the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She previously served as Special Adviser to the First Minister of Scotland and Director of Competitiveness and Economic Growth at the Center for American Progress. She started her career at Bain & Company and the Bridgespan Group.

Ryan Burke

Economic Uplift + Strategy Expert

Served for three years in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy in National Economic Council (NEC) under President Obama. Recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30, previously at Hope Street Group, McKinsey & Co., and Lehman Brothers. Recently completed coding bootcamp at the FlatIron School.

Sanjeet Ahira

Creative Direction

Sanjeet is the Founder and CEO of Omission Studio - a design practice that exists at the intersection of pure artistic creativity and advanced scientific and technological inquiry.  Sanjeet’s repertoire traverses the worlds of design, architecture, advanced technology, craft, and fine art.  He’s led high-profile and speculative projects at Google Robotics, Autodesk Research, and Heatherwick Studio.