White House official urges IT leaders to join open data efforts

Office of Science and Technology Policy adviser Kristen Honey points to upcoming civic hacking and open datapalooza events, and urges a D.C. audience to get involved.
Kristen Honey, White House Office of Science and Technology senior policy adviser, speaking at Data Innovation Summit May 18, 2016. (FedScoop)

White House technology policy adviser Kristen Honey urged government and industry IT leaders to support the open data movement and showcase their work at two upcoming data innovation events.

Speaking Wednesday to a standing-room-only audience at the annual Data Innovation Summit in Washington, Honey highlighted a number of the administration’s open data initiatives, dating back to 2009, that are leading to innovative advances in medicine, agriculture, energy, transportation and education.

“Data science is a team sport, but innovation is an even bigger team sport,” she said at the forum, which was presented by Mark Logic and produced by FedScoop.

She cited how the administration’s Project Open Data initiative, and other open government directives, including a May 2013 Executive Order, have led to tools that help families better evaluate the return on college investments or find fair housing options, and to a White House Police Data Initiative.


But Honey, a senior policy adviser in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, also encouraged the audience to get involved in the open data movement and participate in two events promoting innovative uses of government data.

The first is the National Day of Civic Hacking on June 4, organized by Code for America, NASA and Secondmuse. The program, now in its fourth year, provides developers, government employees, data scientists, app designers and community leaders with an organizing platform to host local “civic tech” events designed to develop applications that make use of public data.

“You can host your own event,” and join hundreds like it across the country focused on everything from “the Zika virus, affordable housing, streamlining processes for small businesses, or connecting people with jobs,” said Honey, “So if you have an idea, this is a great opportunity.”

The second event is a new White House sponsored Open Datapalooza, which she announced would take place September 28 in Washington.

Patterned after the Health Datapalooza launched in 2010 by Todd Park, then CTO of the Department of Health and Human Services and now in its seventh year, this new Datapalooza will be unique, said Honey.


“This will be the best of the best,” bringing together the most successful examples of how government data have been turned into commercial applications across all sectors, including energy, safety, transportation, as well as healthcare.

Wyatt Kash

Written by Wyatt Kash

Wyatt Kash is an award-winning editor and journalist who has been following government IT trends for the past decade. He joined Scoop News Group in June 2014, as Vice President of Content Strategy, where he heads up the company's content strategy and editorial product development. Prior to joining SNG, Mr. Kash served as Editor of , where he developed content and community relations for the government technology market, covering big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, enterprise architecture, mobile technology, open government and leadership trends. Previously, he co-led an AOL start team, where he helped create, launch, manage and market an online news platform, featuring advanced social media strategies, aimed at government, defense and technology industry executives. Mr. Kash has also held positions with The Washington Post Co. and subsequently 1105 Media, as Editor-in-Chief of and , where he directed editorial strategy and content operations for print, online, and mobile products and industry events. Contact the writer at or on Twitter at @wyattkash.

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