Nick Hart Takes Over as New CEO of the Data Coalition

Jerry Ashworth
April 3, 2019 at 08:50:21 ET
Image Image

A new chapter began this week for the Data Coalition as the organization welcomed its new leader. Nick Hart, Ph.D. was announced as the Data Coalition's new chief executive officer. He also will serve as the interim president of the Data Foundation.

The organization notes that Hart is well-positioned to drive the coalition's open data policy agenda and build on previous policy achievements related to the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) of 2014, the OPEN Government Data Act, and the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018. As interim president of the Data Foundation, Hart is expected to encourage thought leadership, programming and hands-on education that will emphasize the long-term value of open data for government and society.

Prior to joining the Data Coalition and Data Foundation, Hart was director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Evidence Project, where he remains as a Fellow. In that capacity, he backed the implementation of the bipartisan recommendations issued by the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. Hart previously served as the policy and research director for the commission, leading the development of the commission’s final report, The Promise of Evidence-Based Policymaking, for Congress and the President in 2017.

“Nick combines extensive federal government and private sector experience having worked on a wide range of bipartisan policies related to data, privacy and program evaluation,” said John Runyan, founding board member and co-chair of the coalition's search committee.

With nearly a decade of experience in the federal government, Hart worked on a wide range of issues including social security, disability, anti-poverty, environmental, energy, economic development and criminal justice policies. He served at the White House Office of Management and Budget as a senior analyst and special assistant, writing executive branch budget proposals and encouraging increased capacity for evidence-based practices across government. He also served as OMB's representative on the White House steering committee for President Barack Obama’s My Brother's Keeper Task Force.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead both the Data Coalition and Data Foundation, to advance issues that are important to the success of our government,” Hart said. “Ensuring policies are effectively designed to encourage responsible data use offers great benefits for the American people. Through the combined efforts of our staff, members, supporters, and boards of directors, we will continue advocating to make government more transparent, effective and efficient.”

Hart takes over the reins once held by former executive director Hudson Hollister, whose energy and enthusiasm for open data brought the Data Coalition to where it stands today. Along with promoting open data, Hollister also supported efforts to move away from the proprietary DUNS number, which has been the primary identifier for nonfederal entities that apply for and receive federal funding. Hollister had expressed that other governments globally are using the non-proprietary Legal Entity Identifier, as well as some U.S. organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

We look forward to seeing what direction the Data Coalition and Data Foundation take going forward. It appears that their leadership, however, is in good hands.