Join Commerce’s Data Revolution: Innovation Leaders Need Apply


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Post by Penny Pritzker Secretary of Commerce

Secretary Pritzker speaking at the Esri Conference July 2014

Last summer, I outlined the wide variety of factors that make the Department of Commerce “America’s Data Agency” – and I announced a series of steps aimed at unlocking the full potential of our data resources.

Among those actions, launching a department-wide Data Advisory Council was a top priority and a key commitment. And today, I am pleased to say that we are making good on our promise: the council has been officially established and we are now accepting applications.

We are looking for the best and brightest data thought leaders in the private and public sectors to advise our efforts to revolutionize Commerce’s data – to foster innovation, create jobs, and drive better decision-making throughout our economy and society.  The application process extends through December 3, 2014.  If you think you have what it takes, I strongly urge you to apply.

As we build our Data Advisory Council, we are actively recruiting a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to drive the transformation of our data, and we are pleased to announce the hire of an outstanding Deputy CDO, Lynn Overmann, currently a senior advisor to White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith.  Lynn will be responsible for coordinating and guiding the Department’s efforts to realize the value of our data and to put the vast volumes of our data to better use each and every day.

Over the past year, the entire Department of Commerce, led by Under Secretary Mark Doms, has strategically focused on unleashing more of our data in ways that make it easier to access, understand, use, and combine. With our new Chief Data Officer and Lynn Overmann taking the lead, we are bringing in innovative thinkers who will work with leading-edge experts from the advisory council and our in-house talent to accelerate our progress toward opening the most useful data to American businesses, entrepreneurs, workers, and communities. 

The 15 members of the Commerce Data Advisory Council will play a vital role in advancing this effort. They will provide me and our data-bureau leadership with guidance on areas such as data management practices; common, open data standards; policy issues related to privacy, latency, and consistency; effective models for public-private partnership; external uses of Commerce data; and methods to build new feedback loops between the Department and data users.

Our data challenges are complex – and we seek to build an advisory council with the expertise to tackle them. Members will represent the entire spectrum of Commerce data including demographic, economic, scientific, environmental, patent, and geospatial data. We seek leaders from the information technology, NGO, non-profit, and academic communities, and from state and local governments—leaders who appreciate the range of data that the Department of Commerce distributes and the full lifecycle of data collection, compilation, analysis, and dissemination.  We need this balanced perspective and varied expertise to ensure meaningful dialogue and guidance on how the Department can realize its vision as America’s Data Agency.

If you are well suited to helping us with these challenges, I encourage you to apply as we build the best possible team.

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Last updated: 2016-03-07 13:20

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