Alvin Salehi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Salehi at the White House in 2015

Alvand "Alvin" Salehi is an American tech entrepreneur, attorney and angel investor. He is the co-founder of Shef, and a former White House technology advisor under President Obama.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Salehi was born and raised in Orange County, California.[2] He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Juris Doctorate, a master's degree in management, a bachelor's degree in political science, and a bachelor's degree in journalism.



In 2019, Salehi launched a venture aimed toward creating meaningful economic opportunities for immigrants and refugees by enabling them to cook and sell food from home.[3][4] Since launch, Shef has served over 200,000 meals and helped immigrants and refugees earn thousands of dollars by selling homemade food to their communities.[5][6] Following COVID-19's impact on the restaurant industry, Shef expanded its mission to include feeding frontline healthcare workers and putting restaurant cooks back to work.[7] In August 2020, the company announced it had raised $8.8 million in funding.[7]

The White House[edit]

Salehi joined the White House in 2015 as a technology advisor in the Office of the US CIO.[1] Under the Obama Administration, he led the development of the nation's first-ever Federal Source Code Policy,[8] which was officially published on August 8, 2016.[9] The policy cuts wasteful taxpayer spending on software acquisitions by mandating that government-funded software be shared across all federal agencies.[8][10][11] It also requires that a portion of government code be released to the public as open source software to maximize the economic benefits associated with code sharing and reuse.[8][10][12] The draft of the Federal Source Code Policy was recorded as one of the most highly commented White House policies in history.[13][14]

On November 3, 2016, Salehi launched with US CIO Tony Scott.[15][16] Since then, has become the nation's primary platform for sharing and improving government code, boasting a large collection of reusable software projects from dozens of federal agencies and organizations.[17] Notable examples include a reusable Facebook Messenger bot[18] built by the Executive Office of the President, a comprehensive web analytics tool[19] built by GSA, and an intuitive tracking application[20] built by the Pentagon for a NATO mission in Afghanistan[21][22]—all of which Salehi has discussed in keynote presentations around the country.[10][17][23][24]

Harvard Law School[edit]

On July 13, 2017, Salehi was appointed by Harvard University to serve as a research affiliate at the law school's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.[25][26] His research focuses on the impact of open source software on code security, economic efficiency, and technological innovation.[25]

Previous Work[edit]

Prior to joining the White House, Salehi helped "lead the State Department’s efforts to expand Internet access to Africa and improve global market access for US technology companies. He also served at the Advanced Research Projects Agency, which invests in transformative, cutting-edge technologies on behalf of the federal government."[27][28]


Forbes 30 Under 30[edit]

In November 2017, Salehi was named to Forbes 30 Under 30.[29][30] Forbes recognized Salehi for his tech policy work for the architecture of the Federal Source Code Policy and launching the US government's platform.[30]

World's 100 Most Influential[edit]

In November 2018, Salehi was included in Apolitical's list of the World's 100 Most Influential Young People in Government.[31] He was listed in the top 20 alongside Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.[31]

Refugee Work[edit]

In April 2018, Salehi was appointed as a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council.[32] Since joining, he has met with Syrian refugees and political leaders in Turkey and Greece to discuss pathways toward resolving the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East.[33] Additionally, he has taken an active role in determining how technology can be used most effectively to resolve humanitarian crises, calling for increased cross-country collaboration and global crowdsourcing as a means to identifying solutions quickly.[33][34] In July 2018, Salehi spoke at the NATO Summit in Brussels, stating that “sharing and collaboration is the key to remaining competitive in the digital age.”[33][34]


Crime Fighter[edit]

On May 2, 2016, Salehi made headlines in the Washington Post for stopping a robbery near the White House.[1] According to the article, Salehi was en route to a meeting when he saw a man violently wrestle a woman to the ground and steal her purse. Salehi immediately charged at the man, forcing him to retreat and run toward the fence surrounding the White House. The man scaled the fence and jumped into the complex in an attempt to escape.[1] As Secret Service officers made their arrest, Salehi retrieved the purse and handed it back to the woman.[35]


  1. ^ a b c d "White House adviser adds crime fighter to his portfolio". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  2. ^ a b "Alvand Salehi - Senior Technology Advisor @ White House | crunchbase". Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  3. ^ "Shef | Our 9 favorite startups from Y Combinator W19 Demo Day 2". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  4. ^ "Shef | A Quick Snapshot Of Y Combinator's Demo Day II". Crunchbase News. 2019-03-20. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  5. ^ "Shef - Authentic Homemade Meals". Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  6. ^ Shef. "Shef Raises $8.8M to Help Talented Cooks Make a Meaningful Income by Selling Homemade Food to Their Communities". Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  7. ^ a b Wilson, Alexandra. "Home Cooking On Demand: This Food Delivery Company Just Raised $8.8 Million". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  8. ^ a b c "Federal Source Code Policy (M-16-21)" (PDF). The White House. August 8, 2016.
  9. ^ "The People's Code". 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  10. ^ a b c "Sharing America's code". Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  11. ^ "Irish tech firms make their mark at the ever-growing SXSW event". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  12. ^ "Preview: America's Code: Open Sourcing Government Software". SXTXState. 2018-03-07. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  13. ^ GitHub (2016-10-26), The People's Code - GitHub Universe 2016, retrieved 2017-06-16
  14. ^ Public Comments on Federal Source Code Policy, The White House, 2017-05-25, retrieved 2017-06-16
  15. ^ Code for America (2016-11-08), Alvand Salehi & Tony Scott: The White House and the People's code, retrieved 2017-06-16
  16. ^ "The People's Code – Now on". 2016-11-03. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  17. ^ a b Medium (2017-06-27). "The Journey to Sharing America's Code". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  18. ^ "Facebook Messenger Bot". Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  20. ^ "ANET". Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  21. ^ "Defense Digital Service revamps NATO training management platform -- GCN". GCN. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  22. ^ "Meet the Nerds Coding Their Way Through the War in Afghanistan". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  23. ^ O'Reilly (2017-05-11), Sharing America's Code - Alvand Salehi (The White House), retrieved 2017-06-16
  24. ^ "America's Code: Open Sourcing Government Software". SXSW 2018 Schedule. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  25. ^ a b "Alvand Salehi | Berkman Klein Center". Retrieved 2017-09-03.
  26. ^ "Harvard's Berkman Klein Center Announces 2017-2018 Community | Berkman Klein Center". Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  27. ^ "Alvand Salehi at Open Source Convention in Austin 2017". Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  28. ^ "Keynote Speakers". GitHub Universe. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  29. ^ "30 Under 30 2018: Law & Policy". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  30. ^ a b "Forbes | Alvand Salehi". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  31. ^ a b "100 Future Leaders: The World's Most Influential Young People in Government". Apolitical. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  32. ^ "Alvand Salehi – Atlantic Council". Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  33. ^ a b c Atlantic Council (2018-07-11), NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue, retrieved 2018-07-17
  34. ^ a b Sen, Ashish Kumar. "NATO Engages: Shoring Up the Alliance". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  35. ^ "White House tech adviser stops thief - Fedscoop". Fedscoop. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2017-08-19.