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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Deputy Director of Programs, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown University

Grace Lacy-Hansell leads programs at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation 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 as instruments for equitable change. She has dedicated her academic and professional career to addressing economic and social disparities by changing the systems that create them. Grace holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago where she concentrated in social policy and a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Georgetown University.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Interim Director of Impact & Evaluation, Code for America

Lauren Speigel is the Interim Director of Impact & Evaluation at Code for America. She is passionate about using rigorous research and human-centered design to create impactful policies and programs for under-resourced urban communities. Previously, she served as the inaugural research director at the Policing Project at NYU Law School and spent many years working to reduce urban gun violence as a senior policy advisor to Mayor Emanuel and researcher at the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Lauren received her master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of Bowdoin College.

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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.

Thumbnail for Dr. RaJade M. Berry-James

Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

RaJade M. Berry-James, Ph.D., is the senior associate dean of faculty and academic affairs at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Berry-James is an elected fellow of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and was appointed by the NAPA Board as Chair of the Standing Panel on Social Equity in Governance, beginning January 2023. Berry-James was also elected as Vice President and President-Elect of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and currently serves as President of NASPAA for the 2023-24 term. She brings an extensive record of service to the network, having served as a member of NASPAA’s Executive Council, and two-time chair of the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA). Dr. Berry-James has spent more than 30 years in higher education, serving as Chair of the Faculty, MPA Program Coordinator, Ph.D. Program Coordinator, and Director of Graduate Programs for small, large, and research-intensive graduate programs. She is also a consultant, specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as assessment and accreditation in higher education.

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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.

Thumbnail for Victor Odoewa

Service Design Lead, Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance, and Technology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Victor Udoewa is a Service Design Lead in the Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance, and Technology at the CDC. He previously served as CTO, CXO, and Service Design Lead of NASA Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. He was the Director of Strategy at 18F, a civic consultancy for the federal government inside the federal government. He led the digital strategy practice and served as a designer and strategist on projects. Previously, as a Global Education Instructional Designer and Training Development Specialist at Google, he designed learning products and services for people in low-to-middle-income countries around the world. The education could range from experiences covering how to develop web applications and how to use the internet to improve teaching and learning, to experiences exploring how to use internet technologies in post-disaster emergency response situations as well as global digital literacy. Prior to Google he served at USAID and DHS as a science & technology policy advisor and development engineer focusing on infrastructure, post-disaster reconstruction, climate neutrality and global health.