U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith yesterday announced the appointment of DJ Patil as deputy chief technology officer for data policy and chief data scientist.
“Across our great nation, we’ve begun to see an acceleration of the power of data to deliver value,” Smith said. “From early open data work by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides data that enables weather forecasts to come directly to our mobile phones, to powering GPS systems that feed geospatial data to countless apps and services—government data has supported a transformation in the way we live today for the better.”
She added, “DJ joins the White House following an incredible career as a data scientist—a term he helped coin—in the public and private sectors, and in academia.” Most recently, he served as a vice president at RelateIQ, which was acquired by Salesforce. He has also held positions at LinkedIn, Greylock Partners, Skype, PayPal, eBay, and the Department of Defense, where he directed efforts to bridge computational and social sciences to help anticipate threats to the United States. And at the University of Maryland, he used NOAA open datasets to improve numerical weather forecasting.
“As chief data scientist, DJ will help shape policies and practices to help the U.S. remain a leader in technology and innovation, foster partnerships to help responsibly maximize the nation’s return on its investment in data, and help to recruit and retain the best minds in data science to join us in serving the public,” Smith said. “DJ will also work on the Administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which focuses on utilizing advances in data and health care to provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients, while protecting patient privacy.”
She said he will assist with open data initiatives, adding that over the past six years the Obama administration has made more than 138,000 data sets available to the public.