GovLab Figures Named to List of World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government

This press release was originally posted by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering on August 8, 2018.

Global Policy Platform Apolitical Honors The Governance Lab Founders Beth Simone Noveck and Stefaan Verhulst

BROOKLYN, New York, Wednesday, August 8, 2018 – Governance innovation advocates Beth Simone Noveck and Stefaan Verhulst, the founding directors of The Governance Lab (GovLab) at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, have been named by global policy platform Apolitical to its inaugural list of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government for 2018.

The list is the first of its kind to show the full international spread of innovative work in the field, celebrating world-changing individuals from every continent. Each honoree has exerted outsize influence on the transition to more effective governance through technology. Through policymaking, research, advocacy, or other means, all have worked to ensure that the services government provides make full use of the opportunities offered by digital technology — while avoiding the pitfalls.

The GovLab – which Noveck and Verhulst describe as a “think- and do-tank” – aims to facilitate innovation at the intersection of law, policy, and technology; promote transparency in systems of government; encourage civic engagement; and partner with students, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs to use data and build tools to improve public institutions and the lives of those they serve.

“At Tandon we are finding ways to harness data to make our cities more livable, our families healthier, and our planet greener,” Dean Katepalli R. Sreenivasan said. “Thanks to Beth Simone Noveck, Stefaan Verhulst, and The GovLab, we are seeing that data and innovation can also allow us to make our government more transparent and our world more just. We are pleased that they are being recognized by Apolitical for their fine efforts.”

Noveck’s recent initiatives have included using technology to involve the public in legislative drafting and decision-making instead of conducting that work behind closed government doors (CrowdLaw) and helping cities co-create solutions to urban challenges with citizens (City Challenges).

She is a professor in NYU Tandon’s Department of Technology, Culture and Society. Noveck served as the first U.S. deputy chief technology officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative from 2009 to 2011. In addition to her appearance on Apolitical’s list, she has previously been named one of the “Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy magazine, one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post.

Earlier this month, she was named to the U.S. Library of Congress Scholars Council, a group from government, media, and academia who advises on issues of interest to Congress and the nation. She was selected for her expertise in technology, governance, and innovation.

Among the books she has authored are Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful (2009) and Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing (2015).

Verhulst is The GovLab’s chief research and development officer. He spent more than a decade as chief of research for the Markle Foundation, where he continues to serve as senior advisor. He is known for his scholarship on ways technology can improve people’s lives and the creation of more effective, data-driven and collaborative forms of governance.  His recent work on Open Data and Data Collaboratives focuses on unlocking of data to improve the way public problems are solved. His BlockChange project examines how blockchain technology (which uses distributed ledger technologies for transparent and secure public databases) can empower underserved populations. His work on People-Led Innovation provided a new methodology to engage with people at every stage of the policy innovation cycle.

His latest books (co-authored with Andrew Young) include Open Data in Developing Economies: Toward Building an Evidence Base on What Works and How (2018) and the Global Impact of Open Data (2017). The co-author and editor of such volumes as Legal Responses to the Changing Media (1998), In Search of the Self: Conceptual Approaches to Internet Self Regulation (2001), The Routledge Handbook of Media Law (2013), he also served as the UNESCO chairholder in communications law and policy at Oxford University and was founder and co-director of Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at Wolfson College (Oxford) and the International Media and Info-Comms Policy and Law Studies at the University of Glasgow School of Law. He has served as a consultant to the European Union, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the World Economic Forum, UNICEF, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and others.

The 100 Most Influential People Working in Digital Government list was curated from nominations of digital government experts from leading organizations, including the Alan Turing Institute, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations, Future Cities Catapult, USAID, and the Open Government Partnership.

About The Governance Lab
The Governance Lab’s mission is to improve people’s lives by changing the way we govern. Our goal at The GovLab is to strengthen the ability of institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems. We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science, can transform governance. We approach each challenge and opportunity in an interdisciplinary, collaborative way, irrespective of the problem, sector, geography, and level of government. For more information, visit thegovlab.org.

About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, the country’s largest private research university, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.