Senior Advisors

Danah Boyd

danah boyd Danah Boyd is the founder and president of Data & Society, a research institute focused on understanding the role of data-driven technologies in society. She is also a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and a Visiting Professor at New York University. Her research is focused on addressing social and cultural inequities by understanding the relationship between technology and society. In 2014, she published a monograph on how young people use social media: "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens". Dr. boyd was selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and is currently an active member. She is a director of the Crisis Text Line and on the board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian. She received a bachelor's degree in computer science from Brown University, a master's degree from the MIT Media Lab, and a Ph.D in Information from the University of California, Berkeley.

Beth Blauer

Beth Blauer Beth Blauer is one of the nation’s leading experts on government performance programs. In March 2015, she was tapped to lead the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University. As GovEx’s first Executive Director, Blauer and her team help governments make decisions and create policies rooted in evidence, transparent accountability, and resident engagement. GovEx was created in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to support its What Works Cities initiative. Over the next three years, Blauer and the GovEx team will partner with What Works Cities to implement and enhance sustainable performance management and open data programs in 100 mid-sized American cities. Prior to joining GovEx, Blauer led the development of software tools at Socrata Inc., which help governments across the globe make connections between their data and performance. Blauer previously served as the Director of Maryland’s award winning StateStat initiative. During her tenure, StateStat was credited with important reforms that cut across all agencies and brought positive results to the State’s most critical issues, including Chesapeake Bay restoration, crime reduction, improved social service delivery, and better educational outcomes for children.

Anand Giridharadas

Anand Giridharadas Anand Giridharadas is a New York Times columnist, writing the biweekly “Letter from America.” He is the author, most recently, of “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas,” about a Muslim immigrant’s campaign to spare from Death Row the white supremacist who tried to kill him (optioned for movie adaption by the director Kathryn Bigelow). In 2011 he published “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking,” about returning to the India his parents left. Giridharadas appears regularly on TV and the radio in the United States and globally, including on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, “Morning Joe,” and "The Daily Show." He has given talks on the main stage of TED and at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Princeton, the University of Michigan, the Aspen Institute, Summit at Sea, the Sydney Opera House, the United Nations, the Asia Society, PopTech and Google. He has received honors from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale, and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Award. He is a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Annmarie Levins

Annmarie LevinesAnnmarie Levins is the General Manager for Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Engagement Group. Her team works with the civic tech community, government leaders, and other community stakeholders to bring creative approaches and technology to address society’s most pressing challenges, including economic growth and development, access and inequality, and building smart, sustainable cities. She founded the Innovation & Policy Center at Microsoft’s New England Research & Development Center (NERD) in Cambridge, which focuses on technology, law, and policy, and serves on the boards of numerous tech-related organizations in Boston and other cities. Her civic engagement teams are based in Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to taking this role, Annmarie was the Associate General Counsel managing legal support for Microsoft’s North American subsidiaries. She joined Microsoft in 1998, after clerking for Judge James L. Oakes on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Lewis F. Powell on the US Supreme Court, serving as an Assistant US Attorney in New York and Seattle, and teaching at the University of Washington Law School. Annmarie holds a BA from Brown University, a PhD in Politics from Princeton University, and a JD from the University of Maine.

Nancy Lublin

Nancy Lublin Nancy Lublin does not sleep very much. She is currently the Founder & CEO of Crisis Text Line, which has processed over 17.5 million messages in just over 2.5 years and is one of the first “big data for good” orgs. She was CEO of DoSomething.org for 12 years, taking it from bankruptcy to the largest organization for teens and social change in the world. Her first venture was Dress for Success, which helps women transition from welfare to work in almost 150 cities in 20 countries. She founded this organization with a $5,000 inheritance from her great-grandfather. Before leading three of the most popular charity brands in America, she was a bookworm. She studied politics at Brown University, political theory at Oxford University (as a Marshall Scholar), and has a law degree from New York University. She is the author of 4 books and is a board member of McGraw Hill Education. Nancy was named one of Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” alongside the Pope and Dalai Lama. (She thought that was hilarious.) Nancy is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (attending Davos multiple times), was named Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014, and has been named in the NonProfit Times Power and Influence Top 50 list 3 times. She is married to Jason Diaz and has two children who have never tasted Chicken McNuggets.

Dan O'Neil

Dan O'Neil

Daniel X. O’Neil was formerly the Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to making lives better in Chicago through technology. Smart Chicago was founded by the City of Chicago, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Chicago Community Trust and works to apply the transformative power of technology to solve problems for the people of Chicago. Prior to the Smart Chicago, O’Neil was a co-founder of and People Person for EveryBlock, a neighborhood news and discussion site serving 16 cities. After an acquisition by msnbc.com, O’Neil ran Business Development for EveryBlock, working on advertising, content partnerships, and integration with the core msnbc.com site. Prior to EveryBlock, O’Neil spent 10 years as an Internet strategist and project manager for Streams Online Media, one of the first web design firms in Chicago. He also created a number of sites for municipalities, including the first Web site for the Chicago Inspector General, the person in charge of rooting out corruption in Chicago city government. He’s developed dozens of websites for nonprofits, schools, and small businesses using easy-to-use and inexpensive tools such as weblogs, wikis, and social networking sites. In June of 2011 he was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for Technology and Innovation. O’Neil has a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He writes poetry books, has written for a number of Chicago news outlets, and has the inevitable weblog, Derivative Works.

Jennifer Palkha

Jennifer Pahlka Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, a national non-profit that believes that government can work for the people, by the people, if we all help. She recently served as the US Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she architected and helped found the United States Digital Service. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government, and the recipient of several awards, including MIT’s Kevin Lynch Award, the Oxford Internet Institute’s Internet and Society Award, and the National Democratic Institute’s Democracy Award. She spent eight years at CMP Media, where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Independent Games Festival. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, Calif. with her daughter, husband, and seven chickens.

Graham Roberts

Graham RobertsGraham Roberts is a 4-time Emmy Award nominated Senior Editor at The New York Times, producing a wide range of visual journalism projects as part of the NYT Graphics team. Most recently his work has focused on new approaches in video, motion graphics, virtual reality, and immersive visual storytelling, while building a team to innovate in this area. Graham also teaches motion graphics for journalists at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Jack Rosenthal*

Jack RosenthalJack Rosenthal, in his 40 years at The New York Times, edited its editorial page, won a Pulitzer Prize, edited The Times Magazine and served as president of The Times Company Foundation where he led the Foundation’s $62 million program that gave support to 30,000 families devastated by 9/11. He subsequently managed the media portfolio for The Atlantic Philanthropies and directed the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Prior to joining The Times, Rosenthal served in the U.S. Army, was served as special assistant to Attorneys General Robert Kennedy and Nicholas Katzenbach, and was the principal editor of the Kerner commission report on urban riots in 1968. He is the founding chairman of the nonprofit ReServe, which connects skilled older adults at service agencies so far in six cities. He also serves on the boards of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, the Lark Quartet and the Advisory Committee of the Thomas Jefferson Papers.
*In Memoriam

Bryan Sivak

Bryan SivakBryan Sivak is a globally­ renowned expert in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and managing for change, government and public policy, technology, and healthcare. Most recently, Bryan served as the Chief Technology Officer and Entrepreneur-­in-­Residence at the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he was responsible for helping HHS leadership harness the power of data, technology and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation. Previously, Bryan served as the Chief Innovation Officer to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, where he led Maryland’s efforts to embed concepts of innovation into the DNA of state government. Prior to his time with Governor O’Malley, Bryan served as Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia, where he created a technology infrastructure that enhanced communication between the District’s residents and their government, and implemented organizational reforms that improved efficiency, program controls, and customer service. Prior to his time in government, Bryan was a private sector entrepreneur, co­founding InQuira, Inc., a multi­national software company, in 2002, and Electric Knowledge LLC, which provided one of the world's first Natural Language Search engines available on the web in 1998.

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston recently served as supervising producer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central, where he oversaw digital expansion. He co-founded Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast, and he wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. Baratunde is a highly sought-after public speaker and thought leader who has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, The Onion, and the gentrification of Brooklyn, New York.