2022 Data Leadership Cohort

Jessica Davison Jessica Davison

Director of Learning, Analytics and Compliance, United Way of Greater Houston

Jessica Davison is the Director of Learning, Analytics and Compliance at United Way of Greater Houston. She works with internal and external stakeholders to design, implement, and evaluate program effectiveness and continuous quality improvement. She is part of the team leading the implementation of the Integrated Client Journey's Data Collaboration and Technology Platform. Jessica serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Evaluation Network as Vice President, President-elect.

Her desired outcome(s) for participating in the DLC is to gain a deeper understanding of data governance both from conceptional and practical application perspective. She'd like to better understand and identify pathways to sustainability for the data governance body among the network of funded partners.

Kelli Millwood Hill Kelli Millwood Hill

Head of Data Insights, Khan Academy

Kelli Millwood Hill created the Efficacy & Research function at Khan Academy in 2017 and has broadened her reach in 2020 to lead the new Data Insights department at Khan Academy which also includes analytics and analytics engineering functions. The charter of the department is to use log data to understand the effectiveness of Khan Academy to determine does it work, under what conditions, and for whom. We use empirical evidence from our studies for further product enhancement. Prior to joining Khan Academy, Dr. Hill spent 10 years at Pearson evaluating the impact of K12 interventions in the US and abroad. Before Pearson, she conducted program evaluations of various technology initiatives as part of one of the Regional Educational Labs and a small EdTech consulting firm. Her Ph.D. and M.A. are in education from UCLA and her B.A. is in psychology and statistics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Kelli requested to participate in the DLC to meet other folks working on similar challenges who may be further along in their data governance journey. She wanted to learn data governance best practices from other organizations and brought their organization along on the journey.

Liam McMahon Liam McMahon

Civic Engagement Coordinator, ISAIAH and Faith in Minnesota

Liam McMahon is the civic engagement coordinator at ISAIAH and Faith in Minnesota. His job is to make data useful and accessible to communities that are often left out of the data systems used by traditional political campaigns. He harnesses data and statistics to strengthen campaigns for racial, economic, and climate justice. In 2021, Liam supported a multiracial group of grassroots leaders in Saint Paul's Black, Muslim, young, and white communities as they passed the nation’s strongest rent control ordinance. He provided customized lists of voters from diverse communities to volunteers walking door to door, communicators reaching out through social media, and organizers encouraging people to stand up and be counted. By integrating data, organizing, communications, and field campaign, leaders and organizers reached more than 30,000 voters during that election cycle, and the ballot initiative passed by 53% to 47%, defying the expectations of the real estate industry. Liam lives in Minneapolis.

Through the Data Leadership Cohort, he is working to improve ISAIAH's systems for managing voter data in Minnesota's Black, Muslim, and renter communities.

Dr. Mark Olofson Dr. Mark Olofson

Director of Educator Data, Research, and Strategy, Texas Education Agency

Dr. Mark W. Olofson is the Director of Educator Data, Research, and Strategy at the Texas Education Agency. He leads a highly skilled team of analysts, specialists, and gurus who manage the collection, analysis, and reporting of data related to educator preparation, certification, and support. In the past three years, this team has launched public-facing data dashboards to meet numerous stakeholder needs; modeled the teacher preparation, workforce entry, and retention pipeline; and implemented a comprehensive educator preparation program accountability system. Current projects include an overhaul of data reporting and storage infrastructure to integrate with numerous source systems, updating visualizations for educator preparation and demographic information, and the integration of data stemming from diverse agency-level initiatives. In addition to his work at the TEA, he enjoys spending time with his family while hiking, biking, paddling, and generally being outside.

As the Agency are building new data products for the public, it is important that any changes or updates that get made must be made in conversation with the end users. My hope for participating is to build out a change management process that allows for collaboration to drive any changes to our forthcoming products.

Matt Dawson Matt Dawson

Senior Director of Efficacy & Implementation Research, Curriculum Associates

Matt Dawson, Ph.D., is the Senior Director of Efficacy & Implementation Research at Curriculum Associates. In this role, he is responsible for leading a team to rigorously evaluate the impact of Curriculum Associates’ educational programs and to better understanding why they work, for whom, and under what conditions. In addition, Matt is responsible for working with researchers interested in using de-identified data collected from over 11 million K-8 students annually to answer important questions related to improving educational systems and student outcomes. Matt has been conducting education research for more than 20 years, and his experience includes more than 10 years at the Institute of Education Sciences Funded Regional Educational Laboratory–Midwest, where he served as Director. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science with a specialization in Educational Evaluation from The Ohio State University, a MS in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia, and a BA in Psychology from Yale University.

His goal for the cohort is to learn more about how other organizations navigate using data to answer important questions for their stakeholders, which, in my case, are questions related to improving educational systems and student outcomes while ensuring we are good stewards of the data we have. A key part of that is staying abreast of cutting-edge thinking around data security and data sharing practices from experts across different industries like those in the Data Leadership Cohort.

Vanessa Raymond Vanessa Raymond

Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP)

Vanessa Raymond holds a M.A. in Arctic Governance with a focus on Arctic Security from University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a B.A. in Cultural Studies from Hampshire College. A socio-technologist, Vanessa uses technology to connect Northern communities and environments with solutions to real world problems. Vanessa is a technologist, facilitator, and data steward with an interest in Indigenous data sovereignty. In addition to founding Convene North, Vanessa has worked at Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Axiom Data Science, Resource Data Inc., the NSF Arctic Data Center, and the Geographic Information Network of Alaska. Vanessa joins the team at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) in Summer 2022 as a program manager for strategic initiatives.

Her goals for the cohort are to explore best practices for data governance models that serve community needs such as data trusts, and to learn from and with a cohort of data leaders with a diversity of experiences and applications.

Yotam Amit Yotam Amit

The Movement Cooperative

Yotam started organizing offline in the aughts in Chicago as one of the founding members of a local Palestinian rights group. He taught himself coding, data, security, and developed in-depth knowledge of a range of CRMs as his contribution to the progressive movement. His passion is to help groups discover and realize untapped potential through data and technology, without sacrificing grassroots organizing, relationships or community. When he is not at his computer, he is probably teaching martial arts at one of the small schools he’s founded in Chicago, New York City, or the Bay Area.

Organizers

Aman Ahuja Aman Ahuja

Founder, Fenris Network

Aman Ahuja is a consultant, advisor and team builder with 15 years of experience helping organizations implement data tools and develop product strategies.

He has worked with values-aligned initiatives in the life sciences, health, and energy sectors. In recent years his work addresses challenges at the organizational and sector level in civil society, including academic product teams, non-profits, and foundations. A leading advocate for effective and conscientious applications of data, Aman works with teams to develop processes and organizational structures that lead to sustainable outcomes.

Aman is leader of the Fenris network. He is a senior member of The Data Guild, an impact-driven data product studio, and co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of DataKind. Aman Ahuja serves as Secretary of the Aspiration Board.

Sean McDonald Sean McDonald

Co-founder, Digital Public

Sean designs technology for governance and governance for technology. He is the CEO of FrontlineSMS, an award-winning technology company, and the co-founder of Digital Public, a public interest digital governance firm. Sean is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation, a lawyer barred in New York, and a digital rights activist. He holds a JD/MA from American University.

Sean is also a researcher and writer whose work has been published by the Review of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Brookings Institution, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Foreign Policy, VoxPopLii, The New Humanitarian, the Center for Internet & Society, among others. Sean is an advisor to a number of civil society organizations, as well as data governance research projects at Tilburg University and the University of Oslo. Sean was formerly a Visiting Fellow at Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab, a Hivos Digital and Creative Futures Fellow, a Research Fellow at Duke’s Center for Law and Technology, an Affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center. He holds a JD/MA from American University, with specializations in international law and alternative dispute resolution.

Allen Gunn Allen Gunn

Executive Director, Aspiration

Allen Gunn is Executive Director of Aspiration in San Francisco, California, and works to help NGOs, activists, foundations and technologists develop more effective and sustainable digital strategies in support of social change.

In his role at Aspiration, he connects nonprofit organizations, free and open source projects, philanthropic funders and activists with strategic frameworks, technology solutions, digital practices and data skills that help them more fully realize their missions.

"This event and these people give a hope that good things can happen."

Participant, Dev Summit
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