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By Jessica Gover

Last month, the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School hosted the inaugural Summit on Data-Smart Government, convening nonprofit, government, and academic leaders to share lessons, insights, and challenges from communities across the US and world. The Summit covered topics ranging from how local governments are using data analytics to address the opioid crisis to the importance of establishing cross-sector partnerships to ease the challenges of modernizing transportation systems. 

The Summit sold out well in advance of the event and featured more than thirty sessions, plenaries, and lightning talks. The Summit was presented by the Civic Analytics Network (CAN), a peer network of leading urban chief data officers who convene at Harvard twice each year, participate in regular communication, and collaborate on critical issues in data-driven governance.

Since the inception of CAN, the job of chief data officer has expanded, with new iterations of the position appearing at all levels of government across the country. Stephen Goldsmith said, “The necessity of the role of the CDO in government is rapidly expanding across the country, and we hope that this Summit will be a launching point for data-smart government innovators to forge connections across this growing community of analytics leaders and to develop new solutions to the toughest challenges in our communities.”  

In the coming weeks we will post slides, video recordings, and related content from the Summit sessions on the Data-Smart City Solutions website. Please stay tuned!

About the Author

Jessica Gover

Jessica A. Gover is a Research Assistant and Writer for the Civic Analytics Network. Prior to joining the Ash Center, she conducted research on new approaches to tech-enabled innovation in the U.S. federal government, focusing particularly on the executive branch, as well as innovative public-private partnership models in the U.S. and New Zealand. Her work for the Civic Analytics Network is informed by research interests ranging from democratic governance to regulatory policy to civic engagement to cross-sector partnerships. She holds a Master's degree from the University of Chicago and received her B.A. at Trinity College.

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