Research Advisory Council

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Research Advisory Council

The Partnership’s Research Advisory Council is made up of expert practitioners, advocates and scholars from the public, private and nonprofit sectors who advise on our research agenda, challenge us to explore new ideas and support the Partnership’s mission.

Council Members

Acting Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown University

Aaron Snow leads the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown, which brings together students, expert practitioners, and extended networks to conduct research and work on projects that solve societal challenges using data, design, and technology to lead to better and more equitable outcomes. He was a Presidential Innovation Fellow, co-founded and then led 18F and the Technology Transformation Service, and was the first CEO of the Canadian Digital Service. He is also a Fellow at the Beeck Center, serving the Intergovernmental Software Collaborative and the Digital Service Network.

Director, Evidence Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Angela Bednarek directs the evidence project at Pew, which aims to promote and facilitate systemic change in the ways research is generated, mobilized, and used. She leads efforts to build collaborations among funders, researchers, decision-makers, and other stakeholders to identify and promote promising practices in actionable research and evidence-informed decision-making in a wide variety of sectors. Bednarek holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and studio art from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Executive Vice President, PolicyLink
Ashleigh Gardere is a pioneer in inclusive economic growth. She works effectively across government, business and nonprofit sectors to deliver transformative results in New Orleans while influencing new practices and policies across the nation. Recognized by Living Cities as one of the nation’s Top 25 Disruptive Leaders working to close racial opportunity gaps, Ashleigh is an expert in economic and workforce development, public policy, organizational leadership and culture change, and performance management for large-scale systems transformation. Ashleigh serves as a trustee of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation which partners with organizations and networks to alleviate poverty and increase social and economic justice in 11 Southern states. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from New York University and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow.

Professor, Northeastern University and Director, The Governance Lab
Beth Simone Noveck is a professor at Northeastern University, where she directs the Burnes Family Center for Social Change and Impact and its partner project, The Governance Lab (The GovLab) and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. The author most recently of Solving Public Problems: How to Fix Our Government and Change Our World (Yale Press 2021), she is also Core Faculty at the Institute for Experiential AI (IEAI) at Northeastern. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy appointed her as the state’s first Chief Innovation Officer and Chancellor Angela Merkel named her to her Digital Council in 2018.

Executive Director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government
Dan Chenok is Executive Director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government. He oversees all of the Center’s activities in connecting research to practice to benefit government, and has written and spoken extensively around government technology, cybersecurity, privacy, regulation, budget, acquisition, and Presidential transitions. Mr. Chenok previously led consulting services for Public Sector Technology Strategy, working with IBM government, healthcare, and education clients.

Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research
danah boyd is a Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research, the founder and president of Data & Society, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, and a Visiting Professor at New York University. Her research focuses on the intersection of technology and society, with an eye to how structural inequities shape and are shaped by technologies. She is currently conducting a multi-year ethnographic study of the US census to understand how data are made legitimate. For more:

Senior Fellow, Center for Evaluation Innovation
Efraín Gutiérrez (he/his) is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) where he focuses on re-imagining strategy, evaluation, and research practices so that philanthropy is in service of racial equity and justice. Before CEI he served as inaugural Head of Impact and Evaluation at the Obama Foundation. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Panamericana in Guadalajara Mexico and a master’s from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington. He is a proud queer immigrant from Capilla de Guadalupe, a small town in Jalisco Mexico, and currently lives in San Francisco CA.

Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Co-Director of The People Lab, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Elizabeth Linos is the Michelle J. Schwartz Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Co-Director of The People Lab at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the government workforce and service delivery specifically on how we can improve diversity in recruitment and selection, how to reduce burnout at work, and how different work environments affect performance and motivation in government. She also studies how to use low-cost interventions to reduce administrative burdens that low-income households face when interacting with their government. Dr. Linos was the former Vice President and Head of Research and Evaluation at the Behavioral Insights Team in North America working with government agencies in the U.S. and U.K. to improve programs using behavioral science and to build capacity around rigorous evaluation. She also worked directly in government as a policy advisor to the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, focusing on social innovation and public sector reform.

Data Science Director, Code for America
Eric is a social scientist turned data scientist. He’s done research in a variety of settings, spanning government, small and large tech companies, and nonprofits. Most recently, he was at the California Department of Justice working to make data more widely available for the public, journalists, and academics. He has published on social support, justice reform, and technology and society. Eric has a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and an M.S. and B.A. from Stanford.

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Protect Democracy
Ian Bassin is co-founder and Executive Director of Protect Democracy. He previously served as Associate White House Counsel, where in addition to counseling the President and senior White House staff on administrative and constitutional law, his responsibilities included ensuring that White House and executive branch officials complied with the laws, rules and norms that protect the fundamentally democratic nature of our government. His writing on democracy, authoritarianism, and American law and politics has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Salon and other publications. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Truman National Security Project and the Truman Center for National Policy
Jenna Ben-Yehuda is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Truman National Security Project and the Truman Center for National Policy. A former State Department official with private sector experience, Ben-Yehuda is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on U.S. national security, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the founder of Women’s Foreign Policy Network, a global community of 6,500 women.

Vice President, Strategic Engagements and Partnerships, MITRE
James Cook is vice president for Strategic Engagement and Partnerships at MITRE. In this role, he leads strategic corporate partnership interactions with the executive agencies and Congress and promotes development of new strategic partnerships with the private sector, academia, and other non-profit, associations and foundations to address public interest challenges at the federal, state, and municipal levels.

President and CEO, Rodel Leadership Institute
John has had a distinguished career in higher education and public service, including prior work as a United States Marine, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Attorney General of Oregon, President of Reed College, Vice President of the Aspen Institute, and Chief Learning Officer of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.  He has taught throughout his career, with appointments as Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, Hauser Leader in Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Visiting Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School, and Visiting Lecturer in Political Science at Yale University.  He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rodel Leadership institute.

Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Service; Director of Executive Master of Public Administration Program, New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Judy is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Service and the Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration Program at NYU. Her teaching and research examine the leadership of nonprofit, social justice movement building, and public leaders using race, gender, and class analyses. Judy engages in qualitative methodologies and specializes in community-based participatory action research. Dedicated to enabling transformative possibilities, Judy centers justice and equity in her teaching, practice, and research. Judy has also spent fifteen years leading strategic civic engagement and social justice initiatives at The New School, Emerson College, and the University of Richmond. As a result of her leadership, she was selected to serve on the national advisory board member of Imagining America where she led the nominations process resulting in increased racial/ethnic diversity on the board. In addition to writing, Judy is a master process facilitator and pedagogy trainer where she draws upon her training by Rockwood Leadership Institute, Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, and Liberating Structures as well as her scholarly research in women of color feminist scholarship, critical race theory, and transformative learning theory. Since 2012, she has taught, advised, and mentored undergraduate and graduate students at The New School, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, Drew University, and Bard College. Judy holds an MA in Sociology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA in Communication from George Mason University.

Executive Vice President, Global Programs, The Barack Obama Foundation
Laura Lucas Magnuson is the Executive Vice President for Global Programs at the Obama Foundation, where she leads efforts to support and train young leaders around the world. She previously served as Vice President for Communications and Strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Laura was a Foreign Service Officer for more than a decade, serving at the U.S. embassies in Nepal and the Czech Republic, as a Special Assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and in the White House as a spokesperson and Director of Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, responsible for Europe and Russia, South and Central Asia, cybersecurity, and international economic policy.

President, Data Foundation
Nick Hart, Ph.D. is President of the Data Foundation, a national non-profit organization that works to improve government, business, and society through open data and evidence-informed public policy. He is a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and with the National Academy of Public Administration. Dr. Hart previously served as the Policy and Research Director for the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking and worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Professor & Chair of the Faculty, North Carolina State University
RaJade M. Berry-James. Ph.D. is chair of the faculty and professor of public administration in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at NC State University. Jade is an elected fellow of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration and vice-chair of the Standing Panel on Social Equity in Governance. In her book Why Research Methods Matter: Essential Skills in Decision Making (2018 | Melvin & Leigh), Jade explains evidence-based decision making to evaluate public policies, programs, and practices. Jade is currently evaluating the North Carolina Farm to Early Care and Education initiative and working with the VCU Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE) as an equity consultant.

Executive Director, University of Chicago Center for Effective Government
Sadia Sindhu is the founding executive director of the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government (CEG), a premier research institute designed to study, debate, and advance reforms that strengthen democratic institutions and improve the capacity of government to solve public problems. Sadia holds an MS in higher education policy from Northwestern University and a BSFS in international politics from Georgetown University. She is a Fellow of the second class of the Civil Society Fellowship, a Partnership of ADL and The Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions in the Government Department at Cornell University
Suzanne Mettler is the John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions in the Government Department at Cornell University. She has written six books, including The Government-Citizen Disconnect, The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy, and Soldiers to Citizens: The GI Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation. She has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships. She is currently researching the rural-urban political divide.

Founder and Senior Director, New Practice Lab, New America

Tara founded the New Practice Lab, a research and design lab focused on family economic security based at New America. She teaches public policy at Georgetown University and is the co-author of the upcoming book Power to the Public: The Promise of Public Interest Technology. Her work lies at the intersection of policy creation, implementation and citizen and community voices. McGuinness joined New America after leaving the Obama administration where she oversaw the federal teams working alongside city, non-profit, and philanthropic leaders in DetroitBaltimore, and Flint, and many other communities. McGuinness researches how networks, technology, management and data practices can be used to tackle inequity and solve other challenges.