About Us

Our Story

CODE was founded in January 2015 as the Center for Open Data Enterprise, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. The organization’s mission is to maximize the value of open government data for the public good. This includes applications of fully open data - free, publicly available data that anyone can access and use, without restrictions - as well as strategies for sharing or exchanging data that requires privacy or security considerations.

CODE’s founding team launched the organization with a commitment to open data and its value. CODE’s founder and president, Joel Gurin, wrote the book Open Data Now that helped define this new field, and led the team at the GovLab that developed the Open Data 500, the first comprehensive study showing how businesses use open data from government. The team began convening Open Data Roundtables at the GovLab to encourage demand-driven open data - helping government agencies provide data in a way that meets the needs of its users. Building on this work, the original Open Data 500 team launched CODE as a new organization  in 2015.

Today, CODE’s work reflects the evolving understanding of how open data’s value must be balanced against the need for data privacy and security. CODE works with stakeholders in government, academia, the nonprofit sector, and the private sector to enable different approaches to data publication, sharing, and exchange. Since its founding, CODE has worked with the White House and numerous U.S. federal agencies to help them leverage data more effectively. The organization’s international work includes facilitating the use of data for reporting on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, mapping applications of open data around the world, and promoting open data for business purposes.

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Our Team

About joel gurin

Joel Gurin is the President and Founder of CODE and an internationally recognized expert on open data. His book Open Data Now (McGraw-Hill), written for a general audience, is considered a benchmark publication that helped define this emerging field.  Before launching CODE in January 2015 he conceptualized and led the development team for the GovLab’s Open Data 500 project, the first thorough study of the use of open government data by the private sector. Joel’s background includes government, journalism, nonprofit leadership, and consumer issues. He served as Chair of the White House Task Force on Smart Disclosure, which studied how open government data can improve consumer markets, and as Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. For more than a decade he was Editorial Director and then Executive Vice President of Consumer Reports, where he directed the launch and development of ConsumerReports.org, the world’s largest paid-subscription information-based website. He is a graduate of Harvard University with an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. You can follow him on Twitter at @joelgurin.

About Paul Kuhne

Paul Kuhne is a Project Manager at the Center for Open Data Enterprise. In this role, Paul leads CODE's Roundtable program, which brings together government agencies, industry experts, nonprofits, and other stakeholders. Paul has nearly seven years of professional experience in community engagement, programs development, and partnership building. While working in Boston, he managed Somerville's largest emergency food pantry. Paul also worked for Hostelling International USA where he oversaw intercultural programs, travel scholarships, and education initiatives for the Northeast region.

Paul pursued his Master's degree in Global Policy Studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He studied program monitoring and evaluation, and researched topics on open data and government transparency. As a Graduate Research Fellow for the Innovations for Peace and Development program, he researched the implementation of the Colombian peace deal. He also served as an AidData Summer Fellow in Kampala, Uganda where he taught GIS and investigated government policies towards environmental open data.

About Matt Rumsey

Matt is the Research and Communications Manager at the Center for Open Data Enterprise (CODE). He has deep experience in open government data as an advocate, policy analyst, and researcher.

Prior to joining CODE, Matt worked as an independent researcher with organizations including the Data Foundation, CODE, and the Sunlight Foundation. He conducted research and wrote policy and briefing papers on topics including DATA Act implementation, grants data standardization, legal entity identification, the interaction between open data and privacy, and open research data. He got his start in open data at the Sunlight Foundation, where he worked on federal policy initiatives. He advocated for passage and effective implementation of the DATA Act, conducted research and advocacy around executive branch open data efforts, and helped to conceptualize and draft what would become the OPEN Government Data Act. Matt has a B.A. in History from American University in Washington, DC.

About Nidhisha Philip

Nidhisha Philip is a Research Fellow at the Center for Open Data Enterprise. She is a lawyer by training and a recent graduate of The Fletcher School where she focused on the intersection of technology, business, and development. Her recent research pursuits include privacy implications of health data and the emerging intersection of technology and financial health/inclusion. She worked as a summer fellow supporting the network team at Namati, a global community of legal empowerment practitioners. She was part of the founding team of Nyaaya, India’s first digital platform aimed at making legal information accessible to various types of digital users. Prior to this, she worked on capital markets and M&A transactions at a leading Indian law firm.

ABOUT TEMILOLA AFOLABI

Temilola Afolabi is a Research Associate at the Center for Open Data Enterprise. In this role, Temi is responsible for conducting research and writing reports, working on Roundtables and other convenings, and supporting CODE’s projects and programs in ways to be determined during the course of her employment. While at the University of Maryland, Temi studied government and politics, with a focus in international development and conflict management. During her junior year, she travelled to Abuja, Nigeria, and worked with the international development consulting firm, Nextier Capital, to help manage and conduct research for their Security, Peace and Development division. In this role, Temi worked as a project associate and policy researcher, and was responsible for writing security policy briefs, conducting outreach to the media, and supporting interventions in conflict resolution and mediation. 

About brock fanning

Brock Fanning is a web architect and data scientist who is active in the world of open-source software development. Prior to joining the Center for Open Data Enterprise, he contributed to open-source projects and developed web experiences at the University of Maryland, Manifest, and the U.S. Department of Justice.Brock holds graduate degrees in classical guitar performance, and enjoys playing with flamenco and jazz bands. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. Brock grew up in New Orleans, later adopted Baltimore, and currently lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and three daughters. He is a strong believer in the power of a good data visualization.

About Hamadoun Cisse

Hamadoun is the Finance Manager at CODE and is responsible for overseeing all financial activities of the organization including accounting, budgeting, taxes, and reporting requirements. Originally from Bamako, Mali, Hamadoun previously worked with UNDP in Burkina Faso. He holds a CPA license from the Virginia Board of Accountancy and a Masters in Information Systems Technology Management and a Bachelors from Business Administration from The George Washington University.

About ANDY LO

Andy Lo is a web developer at the Center for Open Data Enterprise working in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals National Reporting Initiative. He brings a wide range of experience centered around web development, and has had a history of working with non-profit organizations helping to develop and maintain their digital solutions. Prior to coming to the Center for Open Data Enterprise, Andy worked at the Sunlight Foundation where he served as the primary maintainer of the Open States project as a member of Sunlight Labs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University-Commerce and is currently based in Dallas, TX.

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Our Board of Directors

About Shaida Badiee

Shaida Badiee is Managing Director of Open Data Watch, an NGO focused on monitoring and promoting open data in national statistical offices. She has been an active member of the UN Secretary General’s advisory group on data revolution, co-chairs the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Data Network, and has played a key role in the startup of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. As senior advisor, Shaida works closely with theData2X team focused on knowledge creation and advocacy for closing gender data gaps. She brings 36 years of experience in managing global development statistics at the World Bank and as the long-time Director of the Development Data Group. During her tenure, flagship global statistical products were launched such as the World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, and the Atlas of Global Development. In 2010, she led the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative, a ground-breaking program to provide full and free access to the WorldBank’s extensive statistical databases.

About Patricia Cummens

Pat Cummens serves as the Government Strategist at Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). She joined ESRI in 1998, where she provides senior-level management and guidance on state and national government initiatives, emerging policy issues and executive outreach. Prior to that she spent 15 years in state government, serving as the GIS Director for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for 11 years after starting her career with the State of Minnesota. She has developed skills to bridge the gap between policy and technology, and works with executives including Governors’ offices, the White House, and U.S. Congress to help them understand the value geospatial data and GIS technology bring to data-driven decision making and realizing efficient, smart government. Much of her effort is focused on building awareness of location intelligence outside the traditional GIS community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Minnesota.

About Marc Dacosta

Marc DaCosta is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Enigma, a data technology company that marries public and private data to provide actionable, operational insight for Fortune 500 companies. Marc has deep expertise in the technical and cultural aspects of harnessing data to transform organizational operations. He holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California and has held fellowships at the National Science Foundation, Intel Labs and the Columbia Journalism School. Marc is also a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

About Natalie Evans Harris

Natalie Evans Harris holds nearly 20 years of experience advancing the public sector’s strategic use of data, including a 16-year career at the National Security Agency and 18 months with the Obama Administration. She is known for working with a broad network of academic institutions, data science organizations, application developers, and foundations to advance the responsible use of data standards, APIs, and ethical algorithms to directly benefit people. Natalie co-founded and currently serves as Head of Strategic Initiatives of BrightHive, a data trust platform delivering a suite of smart data collection, integration, and governance products to social services providers for improved access to and usability of social sector data. She founded the Community-driven Principles for Ethical Data Sharing (CPEDS) community of practice with over 1200 active members focused on strengthening ethical practices in the data science community through crowdsourcing of a Data Science Code of Ethics. She serves as a Strategic Advisor to the project, now known as the Global Data Ethics Project (GDEP), to advance the adoption of tools, techniques, and practices developed by the community. As a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration, she founded The Data Cabinet, a federal data science community of practice with over 200 active members across more than 40 federal agencies.

ABOUT Elizabeth Grossman

Elizabeth Grossman engages in designing and coordinating strategic national and local partnerships with nonprofits, foundations, governments, and businesses. She has worked with community and civic leaders on the application of technology and data to address public challenges such as economic development and innovation, criminal justice reform, sustainability, accessibility, and transportation. Before joining Microsoft, she worked on science and tech policy for universities, associations, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Elizabeth received a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from Swarthmore College and a Masters and Ph.D. in Computational Physics from the University of Chicago.

About heather Joseph

Heather Joseph serves as Executive Director for the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). In that role she has focused SPARC’s efforts on supporting new models for the open sharing of digital articles, data and educational resources. A firm believer in collective action, she has bolstered SPARC’s mission through the development and leadership of effective coalitions. She convenes the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and the Open Access Working Group, broad coalitions of university, library, advocacy, and consumer groups that serve as leading voices on U.S. open access policies, including the landmark National Institutes for Health (NIH) public access policy and a recent White House Directive. She is also the founder of BioOne, a collaborative publishing organization designed to keep non-profit publishers operating independently. Heather is an active participant on committees and projects at several U.S. federal agencies. In 2015, she was appointed to the newly formed Commerce Data Advisory Council and tasked with providing input to the Secretary of Commerce on issues surrounding open data. She serves on the Board of Directors of key nonprofit organizations supporting the open sharing of knowledge, including DuraSpace and ImpactStory.

About Theresa A. Pardo

Theresa A. Pardo is Director of CTG UAlbany, formerly the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). CTG UAlbany is an applied research institute focused on transforming public services through innovations in management, policy, and technology. Theresa also serves as Special Assistant to the President of the University at Albany and as a Full Research Professor of Public Administration and Policy. She serves as OpenNY Adviser to New York State's Governor Andrew Cuomo, Chair of the U.S. EPA’s National Advisory Committee, as a member of the Steering Committee of the NSF funded North East Big Data Innovation Hub and as a member of the User Working Group of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center. She is the founder of the Smart Cities Smart Government Research Practice Consortium and is ranked among the top five digital government scholars in terms of citations to her published work. In 2018 and 2019, Theresa was named one of the Top 100 Influencers in Digital Government globally and in 2019 she was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Theresa holds a doctorate in Information Science from the University at Albany, SUNY.

About Denice Ross

Denice Ross is a Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center, where she supports the Schmidt Futures data collaboratives portfolio around issues such as disasters, opioids/addiction, Census 2020, climate change, policing, and workforce. She was recently a Public Interest Tech fellow at New America, where she studied the power of networks to advance progress on big challenges. As a Presidential Innovation Fellow in the Obama administration, she co-founded the White House Police Data Initiative to increase transparency and accountability in the wake of Ferguson, and worked with the Department of Energy on crowdsourcing private-sector data to improve community resilience in disaster-impacted areas. Before moving to the DC area, she served as Director of Enterprise Information for the City of New Orleans, where she established their open data initiative, now recognized as one of the most successful in the country. Prior to government, Denice co-directed the Data Center, a non-profit data intermediary that organized Census and other data into neighborhoods to be used by nonprofits and community organizations. Denice holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona, where she was a Goldwater Scholar.

About Brian Scarpelli

Brian Scarpelli is Senior Policy Counsel at ACT | The App Association, a not-for-profit trade association representing small business software development and high tech companies. Previous to joining ACT, Brian worked for over five years at the Telecommunications Industry Association, a trade association representing telecommunications equipment manufacturers and vendors that is also a standards development organization. He has also worked at the Federal Communications Commission, the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions.

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Our Advisors

CODE draws on a network of advisors and board members for insight, and guidance. Our advisors bring expertise from many perspectives, including the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Steve Adler
IBM (FORMER AFFILIATION)

Audrey Ariss
WORLD BANK GROUP

William F. “Bill” Baker
WNET

Amparo Ballivian
WORLD BANK GROUP (FORMER AFFILIATION)

Kathy Conrad
ACCENTURE FEDERAL SERVICES

Hudson Hollister
HDATA

Laura Manley
TECHNOLOGY & PUBLIC PURPOSE PROJECT
BELFER CENTER, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL

Miriam Nisbet
OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES (FORMER AFFILIATION)

Bryce Pippert
MANTECH, FEDERAL CIVILIAN BUSINESS UNIT

Jake Porway
DATAKIND

Nick Sinai
HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL

Jed Sundwall
AMAZON WEB SERVICES
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Our Partners

Since our founding in 2015, CODE has been fortunate to collaborate with public, private, and nonprofit organizations who have contributed to our programs with financial support and in other significant ways.

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