Joshua Franklin: Techie version of 'Spiderman'

Monday - 7/25/2011, 6:00am EDT

(Photo courtesy of Joshua Franklin)
By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

This profile is part of the Federal News Radio special report, "The New Face of Government." Federal News Radio profiled a total of six young feds for this series.

Name: Joshua Franklin
Age: 24
Title: Computer Engineer
Agency: U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Time in Government: 2 years

Joshua Franklin is on track to become an ethical hacker for the federal government.

In the cyber world, there are black hat hackers (the bad guys) and white hat hackers (the good guys.) Franklin said he wants to help close security vulnerabilities.

"It's like Spiderman - with great power comes great responsibility," he said.

Franklin's job now is to test and certify voting equipment at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. He also researches new voting technologies and has helped examine ways to increase overseas voting turnout.

Working with voting technologies is unique to government - one that "doesn't present itself in the private sector," he said.

Ultimately, his job is helping to "secure democacy."

Franklin received his undergraduate degree in Information Systems at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Before working at EAC, he already had voting equipment experience from the Center for Election Systems in Kennesaw.

Outside of his technical responsibilities, Franklin also helps EAC staff with simplifying voting machine documentation, sometimes creating visuals that help explain how the machines work.

He also pitches in on social media outreach and training and was behind starting the EAC Twitter account (@EACgov).

Franklin said what young feds bring to the federal workforce is a push toward open government. Generally, feds who have been in government for a long time "don't seem to be as adamant about open government, open data, getting the information out there."

He added, "It seems like my friends and fellow employees have influenced the older generation."

Check out more from the Federal News Radio special report, "The New Face of Government."

Part 1 - Introduction: New Face of Government

Part 2 - Survey reveals both opportunities, rift between generations

Part 3 - Practical tips for engaging young feds

Part 4 - Young feds share what they really think (Read the profiles of six young feds)