Last week, Lisa Ellman stopped by the AirMap office in Santa Monica during our bi-weekly lunch ‘n’ learn to talk about drones, her law professor Barack Obama, and “polivation,” or policymaking with an eye towards innovation.

A partner at Hogan Lovells, Ellman co-chairs the firm’s UAS group as a public policy lawyer focusing on domestic drones and other emerging technologies. Previously, she worked at the White House and Department of Justice in senior positions on various committees for open government and domestic drone policy.

During her Q&A with the AirMap team, Ellman discussed the landscape of drone policy in the United States.

“This is an exciting time for drones,” she said. “The FAA is on the precipice of issuing a final rulemaking on small UAS, a defining moment for our industry.”

She noted the complexity of the United States’ legislative process in drone policymaking, compared with nations like Australia, New Zealand, and France, which have emerged as leading innovators in the UAS space.

To spur progress, Ellman calls for “polivation,” a new approach to balancing the needs of policymakers protecting and serving the public interest and of innovators trying to break boundaries with new technologies, including commercial and private drones.

Watch Lisa’s TEDx talk about “polivation” below to learn more.