Beth Simone Noveck

Co-founder and Director

Beth Simone Noveck is Co-Founder and Director of The GovLab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and, the GovLab strives to improve people’s lives by changing how we govern. The GovLab designs and tests technology, policy and strategies for fostering more open and collaborative approaches to strengthen the ability of people and institutions to work together to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves more effectively and legitimately.

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Stefaan Verhulst

Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory @NYU (GovLab) where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology. Verhulst’s latest scholarship centers on how technology can improve people’s lives and the creation of more effective and collaborative forms of governance. Specifically, he is interested in the perils and promise of collaborative technologies and how to harness the unprecedented volume of information to advance the public good.

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Akash Kapur

Senior Fellow

Akash Kapur is a Senior Fellow at the GovLab. Akash has consulted for a variety of organizations (including UNDP and The Markle Foundation) on issues including Internet governance, the digital divide, open data, and health IT. He is a former columnist for the International New York Times, and has written for, among other publications, The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Time magazine.

Akash is the author of a book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India (Riverhead, 2012), named by The New Yorker and The New Republic a book of the year; by Newsweek one of its three must-reads on modern India; and selected as an Editors' Choice by the New York Times Book Review.

Akash has a BA in Anthropology from Harvard College, and a DPhil in media law and policy from Oxford University (Nuffield College), which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. His research at Oxford focused on issues related to access and the digital divide.

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Alan Kantrow

Senior Advisor

Alan Kantrow is Senior Advisor of the GovLab. Prior to joining the GovLab, Alan was Managing Partner of Alan Kantrow LLC, where he provided advice on strategy, organization, innovation, communication, and knowledge management to corporations, colleges and universities, and government entities focused on educational and economic development across the world. In parallel, he has been Professor of Management and Director of an infrastructure-focused research center at Moscow School of Management/Skolkovo, Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and adjunct lecturer in strategy at Babson College.

Previously, for more than a dozen years, Alan was a Senior Partner and Chief Knowledge Officer at Monitor Group. Before that has was a Partner and Director of Communications for Asia-Pacific at McKinsey & Company, as well as Editor of the McKinsey Quarterly. Still earlier, he was a Founding Partner of Winthrop Group (business historians) and Senior Editor of Harvard Business Review. He is the author of several books and many articles, and his blog on tertiary education can be found at Alan holds both his AB and PhD from Harvard University.

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Andrew Young

Knowledge Director

Andrew Young is the Associate Director of Research at The GovLab, where he leads research efforts focusing on the impact of technology on public institutions. Among the grant-funded projects he has directed are a global assessment of the impact of open government data; comparative benchmarking of government innovation efforts against those of other countries; and crafting the experimental design for testing the adoption of technology innovations in federal agencies.

Andrew is the author of extended work on how public sector institutions use new technology to coordinate work and developed original public resources, including GovLab’s Twitter Lists of governance innovation areas and its Zotero bibliographies and Selected Readings on a variety of topics.

He is also the Network Coordinator of the GovLab-chaired MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance. In this role, he plans and organizes collaborative research projects and events with the Network’s members, post-docs, and advisory group who span a dozen disciplines and institutions. Andrew works closely with GovLab civic technology team and has led the design of the Network of Innovators skill sharing network for civil servants and the Open Governance Research Exchange (OGRX), a collaborative project of the GovLab, World Bank, and mySociety to develop a platform for accessing and sharing original research on governance innovation.

In his role as Associate Director of Research, Andrew provides research and writing support to all members of GovLab’s team and to its extended network of participants in GovLab’s training programs.

Andrew earned his Master’s degree in the Media, Culture and Communication department of NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, with a focus on Technology and Society. His Master’s thesis explored the largely unexamined use of data-tracking technologies on congressional campaign websites to inform microtargeting efforts.

Before arriving at the GovLab, Andrew worked with Chief of Research Stefaan Verhulst at the Markle Foundation, where his research centered on the use of technology to bolster economic security.

Prior to his graduate work at NYU, Andrew attended Pennsylvania State University and Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he studied English and Communications. His writings can be found on the GovLab Blog, Opening Governance Research Network Blog, Medium, the Social Science Research Network, and in Governing. He tweets at @_AndrewYoung.

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Anna Bialas

Web Intern

Anna is an Intern at the GovLab. She is a junior pursuing a B.S. in Media, Culture, and Communication with a focus on Technology and Society at NYU Steinhardt. Before joining GovLab’s development and design team, Anna worked as content writer and editor at the Marketing and Communications Department at NYU Tandon, while simultaneously pursuing coursework in web design. In her studies, Anna explores the relationship between bodies and data, tracing the history of data visualization and tracking technologies.

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Anirudh Dinesh

Research/Tech Associate Fellow

Anirudh conducts research on governance innovation. He is a member of the research team studying how public institutions use knowledge networks to leverage the expertise of their employees and constituents. The team has produced ten original Smarter State case studies. He has also researched and authored reports on Open Data for Developing Economies, a project to explore the social and economic impact of opening government data.

In his job, Anirudh organizes events at the GovLab. He is part of the organizing team of the Collective Intelligence Conference which will be hosted at NYU Tandon in June 2017. He has coordinated multiple online classes and coaching programs for the GovLab Academy, including the ones on innovations in tech-enabled disaster management and data driven criminal justice. He previously co-produced TEDxBNMIT 2015, an independently organized TEDx event in Bangalore, India.

In addition to his research and event planning roles, Anirudh works with GovLab Engineering on a variety of civic tech projects, often helping to translate user needs into technical requirements.

Anirudh holds a master’s degree in Computer Engineering from New York University and an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Visvesvaraya Technological University in India. While studying there, he interned at the Defence Research and Development Organization, where he implemented the autonomous indoor navigation of a quadcopter.

Anirudh is an avid blogger and his writings can be found at

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Claudio Mendonca

Creative Director

Claudio Mendonca is the Creative Director at the GovLab where he is responsible for branding and interaction design of the digital projects. Working as a visual communicator for more than 10 years, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design in 2005. He has extensive experience in branding and interaction design, including 3 years developing graphical material for several government institutions in Brazil, publications and interface design for startups.

Outside of his work at The GovLab, Claudio also designs webapps for the Centre of Direct Democracy and works as a design consultant for the World Bank Institute for several open gov projects such as Open Government, Open Contracting, Open Development and Technology Alliance. He can be found at

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Christopher Wong

Director of Product

Christopher Wong is Director of Product at the GovLab. Christopher joined the GovLab after serving as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, where he worked with the US Patent and Trademark Office to deliver on the White House's Executive Action to better utilize crowdsourcing as a mechanism for improving patent quality. The Executive Action expands upon previous work by Christopher and GovLab Director Beth Simone Noveck in launching Peer to Patent, the historic initiative to allow the public to participate in the patent examination process and one of the federal government's first uses of Web 2.0 technology.

Prior to his service as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, Christopher was the Executive Director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU School of Law and a Visiting Fellow at both the Yale Law School Information Society Project and the Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy. Christopher holds a JD from New York Law School and a BSBA in Information Technology from the University of Denver. He tweets at @chrswng.

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David Naffis

Lead Technical Architect

David is the Lead Technical Architect at the GovLab. A former Presidential Innovation Fellow, David is an entrepreneur and software developer with experience in software services, product development, strategy, and operations. He is a founder of Intridea, an Inc 500 winning software development firm where he oversaw several successful product spinouts and acquisitions. Before starting Intridea, David worked as a software engineer and architect at companies including AOL, Cisco, and McKinsey. He holds a masters in Systems Engineering from The University of Virginia, has contributed to a number of open-source projects, and has spoken at numerous regional and national conferences. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Aubrey.

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Denny Tek


Denny Tek is a Developer at the GovLab. She enjoys working on projects that empower and connect communities. She is also a volunteer teacher with ScriptEd, an organization that brings web development classes and internship opportunities to students in under-resourced high schools in NYC. Prior to joining the GovLab, Denny developed and commissioned scholarly works on music for a global academic publisher. She has a B.F.A. in Music Technology from the City College of New York.

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Dinorah Cantú-Pedraza

The GovLab Academy Coordinator

Dinorah Cantu coordinates the GovLab Academy, an online institute aimed at helping government and social innovators take innovative projects from idea to implementation. Under her direction, the Academy has worked with over five hundred innovators from more than 30 countries online and off over the last two years. Thousands more have watched its skill-building videos. She has put together over 12 Coaching Programs, the Academy’s signature mentoring and peer to peer learning initiative, where over 95% of whose participants complete the program. The Academy is a project of the Governance Lab, based at New York University. GovLab focuses on the use of technology to improve how we govern.

Dinorah has also designed the GovLab’s Crowdsorcerer expert system, a software tool to deliver customized case studies to government leaders about open innovation. Working together with lawyers and education experts from NYU, she also designed an expert system to help universities determine the legal requirements for offering online education. She also runs the GovLab’s Demos for Democracy video series where she interviews leading technologists about new platforms to advance the public interest.

A lawyer by training, Dinorah founded and directed the Human Rights Center of the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey prior to coming to New York in 2012. She holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy at NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and is passionate about the value of civic technology for strengthening human rights. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and tweets at @dinorah_cantu.@dinorah_cantu.

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Eduardo Valdez

Project Assistant

Eduardo has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Policy from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He currently works as Project Assistant of DesafíoSP, our pilot for testing open innovation for solving public problems in Latin American cities. Before joining the team, he contributed with NGO’s and private organizations along Mexico to accomplish change in environmental policy and worked with local officials to creatively solve issues of transparency and accountability.

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Ena Bek


Ena is a Developer at the the GovLab. She has a B.S. in Media Communication Studies from Florida State University where she focused on communication theory and philosophy. Ena began her career in Marketing but soon found herself taking a greater interest in the creative and technical side of the industry. After realizing that coding could lead to more meaningful and fulfilling work, Ena dedicated herself to learning the skills she needed to become a member of the engineering community. Since then, Ena has led multiple projects from conceptualization to implementation, such as an app to make sharing responsibilities amongst roommates easier to manage, and a generator to help organizations quickly create and customize their own wikis.

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Francesca De Chiara

Visiting Fellow

Francesca De Chiara is a Visiting Fellow at the GovLab. Based in Trento at Fondazione Bruno Kessler's Center for Information and Communication Technology, she is the co-founder of the first Italian node of the Open Data Institute in Trento. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Salerno (IT). Her dissertation – The World Bank: knowledge, technology and development in a multilateral institution – focused on the role of the World Bank as a knowledge producer, by analyzing the organizational transformation during Wolfensohn presidency, the launch of the online aid-management platform powered by the Bank, and the implementation of the Development Gateway web portal.

She has been Visiting Research Fellow at Dept. of Development Sociology/Polson Institute for Global Development – Cornell University in 2009-2010, working under the supervision of Philip McMichael, and visiting doctoral student at the University of Warwick – Warwick Business School, where she joined the Public Policy Group led by prof. Colin Crouch in 2006-2007. She has research experience in the field of open data, open government and development studies and is mainly interested in analyzing the impact and the actual reuse of open data. In this context, she has presented papers at international conferences, organized workshops and training courses. She has also lectured at LUISS University in Rome. She is part of the Open Knowledge Network, collaborates in bottom-up initiatives focused on crowdsourcing and civic monitoring, like Monithon. She’s editor of the Open Knowledge Italian official blog, author of academic articles and lately referee for the European Journal of Political Research. Last accepted paper to be presented at CES Conference in Paris, July 2015, will be focused on the value of open data for the European Cohesion. She has served as country reviewer for the first edition of the Open Data Barometer, a research report by the Web Foundation and the Open Data Institute. She has translated the Open Data Certificates (now in Beta) in Italian in 2014, organized the first edition of the contest Trentino Open Data Challenge, and is responsible for the open data related activities within the EU FP7-funded Finodex project, an accelerator for SMEs and Web entrepreneurs that make use of both existing open data-sets and the platform FiWare. Since February 2013, she has worked at the Trentino Open Data project, resulting in the launch of the open government data catalog

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Fred DeJohn

Chief Financial Officer

Fred DeJohn is the Chief Financial Officer at GovLab. Fred is an attorney with extensive experience in finance, budget and human resources in both government and higher education. Prior to joining the GovLab, Fred served as the Acting Vice President for Human Resources at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Before that, he spent more than eighteen years as the Vice President for Finance and Administration at New York Law School.

Fred's earlier career was with New York City government where he held high level positions in a number of City agencies, including Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration at the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, First Deputy Commissioner at the Department of General Services and First Deputy Director at the Department of Personnel. He finished his City service as a Special Assistant to Mayor David Dinkins, focusing on municipal labor issues.

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Jos Berens

Visiting Fellow

Jos Berens is a Visiting Fellow at the GovLab and the coordinator of the Data Governance Project (DGP), an international multidisciplinary collaboration between the GovLab, the World Economic Forum, and Leiden University. Jos holds an LL.B in Dutch Law and a BA in Philosophy, both obtained at Groningen University. He is currently pursuing an LL.M in Dutch Criminal Law and an LL.M in Public International Law, the former in Groningen and the latter at Utrecht University. He specialises in privacy issues and risk assessment regarding large scale data collection and use.

Jos' project at the GovLab focuses on building an expert network to solve questions related to corporate data sharing for social good, especially in the development context. Working with a number of international organisations, the DGP looks at concrete issues in the data for development space. Based on the solutions found, the DGP is developing a framework for corporate data sharing for social good.

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Lauren Yu

Director of Operations

Lauren Yu is the Director of Operations at The GovLab. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University where she focused on advanced clinical practice in health, mental health, and disabilities. She has worked in schools, hospitals, and community mental health centers where her target populations have included at-risk children, transplant patients, and homeless mentally ill adults. Lauren earned a BA in psychology from Occidental College.

Prior to joining The GovLab team, Lauren was living in Kathmandu, Nepal where she started a counseling program serving 1st-12th grade students. She also created the school’s service learning program involving middle school and high students in community service projects throughout Kathmandu and in surrounding rural villages.

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María Hermosilla

Non-Resident Fellow

Research Fellow María Hermosilla focuses her work on governance innovation in Latin America. At the GovLab, she does both research and project design and management. She conducts research on how technology is transforming government, which includes work on the impact of innovations such as big and open data, crowdsourcing, people analytics, and public labs on executive and legislative institutions. She is a collaborator on the Smarter State case studies series, which focuses on how public institutions use new technology to accelerate learning, and she does ongoing work on mapping the skills and expertise gap in government.

Complementing her research, María has convened and moderated a GovLab online conference on CrowdLaw that brought together practitioners working on participatory lawmaking from 16 countries. She is also collaborating on efforts to convene another global online conference series on using technology and innovation to combat mosquito borne illness.

Her projects include working with GovLab’s engineering team on the design and implementation of Network of Innovators, the bilingual skill-sharing network for government and civic innovators worldwide. In that capacity, she works with public sector partners to promote use of such platforms to accelerate learning, including organizing workshops and training in Mexico and the UK.

An experienced facilitator and trainer, María has designed and led the GovLab’s coaching program for the Organization of American States Open Government Fellows, working with government officials and nonprofit leaders across the Americas to help them take public interest projects from idea to implementation. She also helped lead the GovLab’s online lab design coaching program and collaborated in curriculum design and implementation of a GovLab-United States Department of Agriculture open data summer camp.

Prior to the Govlab, María worked in national government in Chile, leading the redesign of citizen information services and open data efforts at the Ministry of Public Works. She also designed public consultations and led the digitalization of services. Before going into the public sector, María worked in television as a producer, reporter and assistant director and served as a freelance correspondent for NPR.

A native Spanish speaker, María has a Master of Public Administration at New York University, where she studied public and nonprofit management with an emphasis on design thinking, data science and participatory policymaking.

Her writings can be found on the GovLab’s blog and on Governing. She can be found on twitter at @mphermosilla.

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Mark Adkins-Hastings


Mark Adkins-Hastings is a software developer with diverse expertise in both technology and design. He joins GovLab's development and design team to build civic technologies that help institutions work more openly and collaboratively. Previously, Mark worked on citizen-centric technology projects for the United States federal government, including the Department of Justice and the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). At USTPO, he developed the Office's electronic patent application filing system as part of a team promoting the adoption of more agile and modern design practices, including the use of citizen ethnography to ensure that government websites serve the public better.

Recently, Mark collaborated with a team from the USPTO and the White House, including members of the Presidential Innovation Fellows corps, to help develop a process and platform for crowdsourcing public expertise to enhance the patent examination process. His work was showcased to the US Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the White House Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

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Mark Rosenberg

Student Research Fellow

Mark is a Student Research Fellow. Currently in his final year at the Yale School of Management MBA program, Mark is the Community Engagement Manager for The Data Justice Network, a hub for data-minded criminal justice practitioners to connect and learn from one another. During grad school, Mark worked in Illinois supporting the implementation and evaluation of diversion courts, special courts that divert offenders from incarceration toward treatment of underlying issues, using data and research to guide policy development and support courts personnel.

Mark previously worked at the American Institutes for Research where he conducted behavioral science research to improve access to and quality of care for disadvantaged populations. He focused on patient engagement and methods for incorporating patient input into healthcare policy and physician decisionmaking and helped run the Center for Patient and Consumer Engagement, a learning network focused on helping practitioners and researchers empower patients to be proactive in their care.

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Michael Gill

Research Fellow

Michael is a Moore-Sloan Data Science Fellow at the Center for Data Science at NYU, and a Research Fellow at the GovLab. Michael's substantive interests include the study of special interest groups, the causes and effects of government transparency, and U.S. foreign policy. Methodologically, his research focuses on applications of machine learning methods for causal inference problems in the social sciences, experimental methods, and the analysis of text-as-data. He received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, where he was an affiliate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences.

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Neil Kleiman

Senior Fellow

Neil Kleiman is a Senior Fellow at the GovLab. Neil has spent nearly 20 years building a career at the intersection of many sectors—policy, philanthropy, government and academia. He has established new organizations, and divisions within organizations, focused on developing innovative and practical policy solutions for cities. He has written and edited over thirty policy reports, and his work has been featured in many media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chronicle of Higher Education and National Public Radio.

Dr. Kleiman is a clinical professor at New York University, teaching graduate-level courses on policy development, urban innovation, and new approaches to technology and big data at both the Wagner School of Public Service and the Center for Urban Science and Progress.

As Director of the NYU Wagner Innovation Labs, he supports the development of initiatives and programs to address pressing urban challenges, both nationally and globally. He has worked closely with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Citibank and the Ford Foundation on international initiatives to improve government efficiency and reform.

He is also Deputy Executive Director of Policy, Research, and Evaluation for the National Resource Network. Funded with $10 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Network is the nation’s first one-stop resource for cities seeking customized solutions to their most pressing challenges.

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