Who We Are


Network Coordination

Beth Simone Noveck


Beth Simone Noveck directs The Governance Lab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance.

The Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab, Beth is a professor of law at New York Law School. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and she served on the Obama-Biden transition team. Among projects she’s designed or collaborated on are Unchat, The Do Tank, Peer To Patent,, and the GovLab’s Living Labs and training platform.

A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy, one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company; and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. She has also been honored by both the National Democratic Institute and Public Knowledge for her work in civic technology.

Beth is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds. Her next book The Networked State will appear with Harvard University Press.

She tweets @bethnoveck.

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Stefaan Verhulst

Chief of Research

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Lab, where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology.

Before joining NYU full time, Verhulst spent more than a decade as Chief of Research for the Markle Foundation, where he continues to serve as Senior Advisor. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communications at New York University, Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Media and Communications Studies at Central European University in Budapest and an Affiliated Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Global Communications Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications.

Previously at Oxford University, he co-founded and was the Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio Legal Studies, and also served as Senior Research Fellow of Wolfson College. He is still an Emeritus Fellow at Oxford. He also taught for several years at the London School of Economics.

Verhulst was the UNESCO Chairholder in Communications Law and Policy for the UK, a former lecturer on Communications Law and Policy issues in Belgium, and Founder and Co-Director of 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 numerous international and national organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Commission, UNESCO, World Bank, UNDP, USAID and the UK Department for International Development, among others. He has received grants from the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Markle Foundation.

Verhulst has authored and co-authored several books, including: In Search of the Self: Conceptual Approaches to Internet Self Regulation, Convergence in European Communications Regulation, EC Media Law and Policy, Legal Responses to the Changing Media and Broadcasting Reform in India. Most recently, he co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Media Law. Verhulst is also founder and editor of numerous journals including the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy and the Communications Law in Transition Newsletter.

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Andrew Young

Network Coordinator

The GovLab

Andrew Young is the Network Coordinator of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance and the Associate Director of Research at the Governance Lab.

Andrew is a 2013 graduate of the Media, Culture and Communication department of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, where his work focused on the intersection of technology and society. His Master’s thesis, “The Need for Increased Transparency and Public Scrutiny in the World of Congressional Campaign Voter Data Collection,” featured original research into the data collection practices of the entire field of 2012 congressional candidates and won the departmental Distinguished Thesis Award.

Before joining the Governance Lab, Andrew worked as a researcher at the Markle Foundation, where his work centered on the use of information and communications technology to bolster economic security.

Prior to his graduate work at NYU, Andrew attended Pennsylvania State University and Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he studied English and Communications.

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Lauren Yu

Network Administrator

The GovLab

Lauren Yu is the Network Administrator for the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance and the Director of Operations at The GovLab.

She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University where she focused on advanced clinical practice in health, mental health, and disabilities. She has worked in schools, hospitals, and community mental health centers where her target populations have included at-risk children, transplant patients, and homeless mentally ill adults. Lauren earned a BA in psychology from Occidental College.

Prior to joining The GovLab team, Lauren was living in Kathmandu, Nepal where she started a counseling program serving 1st-12th grade students. She also created the school’s service learning program involving middle school and high students in community service projects throughout Kathmandu and in surrounding rural villages.

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Faculty Members

Tim Berners-Lee

Faculty Member

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread.

He is also the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). He is also a Professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK.

Berners-Lee is also the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization founded in 1994 that develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. He is also a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched in 2009 to coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity. Previously, he acted as the Director of the Web Science Trust (WST), an organization launched in 2009 to promote research and education in Web Science, the multidisciplinary study of humanity connected by technology. In 2000, he authored the book, Weaving the Web.

A globally respected proponent of open government data, Berners-Lee is a member of the UK’s Transparency Board and president of London’s Open Data Institute.

In 2001 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has been the recipient of several international awards including the Japan Prize, the Prince of Asturias Foundation Prize, the Millennium Technology Prize and Germany’s Die Quadriga award. In 2004, he was knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth, and in 2007 he was awarded the Order of Merit. In 2009, he was elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

On March 18, 2013, Berners-Lee, along with Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, Louis Pouzin and Marc Andreesen, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for “ground-breaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity.”

He tweets @timberners_lee.

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Henry Farrell

Faculty Member

Henry Farrell is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, and Co-Chair of the Social Science Research Council’s Digital Knowledge Initiative. He has previously been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Assistant Professor at George Washington University and the University of Toronto, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck Project Group in Bonn, Germany.

As a leading political scientist, Farrell works on a variety of topics, including trust, the politics of the Internet and international and comparative political economy. His book, The Political Economy of Trust: Interests, Institutions and Inter-Firm Cooperation, was published in 2008. In addition he has authored or co-authored twenty-three academic articles for journals including International Organization, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies and the Annual Review of Political Science, as well as numerous book chapters for edited volumes.

Professor Farrell is an associate editor of Perspectives on Politics and Research and Politics, a Foreign Correspondent for Stato e Mercato and a member of the executive committee of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. He is a co-founder of the popular academic blog Crooked Timber, and also blogs at The Monkey Cage, winner of the 2010 The Week award for Best Blog. He has written articles for general publications including Foreign AffairsThe Financial TimesForeign PolicyThe American ProspectThe Washington MonthlyThe Boston ReviewThe American InterestDemocracyNew ScientistThe NationAeonThe Chronicle of Higher EducationTimes Higher Education and the Australian Academic Supplement, among others.

He tweets @henryfarrell.

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Sheena S. Iyengar

Faculty Member

Sheena S. Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and the Director of the Global Leadership Matrix and Research Director at the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business.

A social psychologist and renowned expert on the subject of choice, Iyengar’s innovative research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Security Education Program. In 2002, she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Social Scientists by the Executive Office of the President.

Iyengar has taught on a wide variety of topics at Columbia for MBA and Executive MBA students, including leadership, decision making, creativity, and globalization, earning an Innovation in the Teaching Curriculum award along the way. She was also recently selected by Columbia University’s President’s Office to teach at the Global Leadership Fellows Program at the World Economics Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

In her critically acclaimed book, The Art of Choosing, she presents the biology and the psychology of choice, examining how different cultures construct choice and pondering how we might choose better. The Art of Choosing was a finalist for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, received the 2011 Gold Axiom Business Book Award in the “General Business/Economics” category, and was selected by editors as one of the Top 10 Best Business Books of 2010. Iyengar’s other publications and working papers include: “The Dark Side of Choice: When Choice Impairs Social Welfare,” “Allocating Resources Among Group Members: The Medium of Exchange” and “Creating Our Selves Through Choice: Opportunity and Obligation,” among many others. She has also written for, Slate and strategy + business, and has been a guest on CNN, CNBC, CBS Sunday Morning News and The Today Show.

Iyengar has degrees in Economics and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University.

She tweets @Sheena_Iyengar.

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Erik Johnston

Faculty Member

Erik W. Johnston is an Associate Professor of the Policy Informatics School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University (ASU) and the Director of the Center for Policy Informatics.

Johnston’s research focuses on Policy informatics, the study of how computational and communication technology is leveraged to specifically understand and address complex public policy and administration problems and realize innovations in governance processes and institutions. His research explores how our governance systems can evolve to address increasingly complex challenges, and to meet the rising expectations of people to be full participants in their governance systems, what changes we need to make in technology, processes, institutional capacity and social norms to realize that future. For example, stakeholders are becoming more diverse, unequal, vocal and polarized, which will require the development of effective solutions, including creative approaches to collaborative governance, participatory decision-making and the ability to identify and mitigate the causes of social and environmental conflict. Urbanization and climate change are anticipated to increase societal challenges related to human-environment interactions, particularly with respect to environmental health and natural hazards. Reducing health and infrastructure vulnerability to current and future threats requires innovative, interdisciplinary approaches integrating basic and applied natural and social science in a framework that not only provides stakeholders with new evidence to support effective decision-making, but also accelerates the identification of the next series of important questions that research must address. These interests are catalyzed through three current research focuses: open governance, participatory modeling, and smarter governance infrastructures.

A dedicated action researcher, Johnston leads the team at ASU that is studying how people come together to collaborate, using 10,000 Solutions, a university-wide challenge platform to propose answers to every problem from education to human rights. He is also the driving force behind the ASU Policy Challenge, an ideation contest for contributing policy suggestions to the White House. Johnston is the author of “Design Lessons for Smart Governance Infrastructures,” a chapter in _American Governance 3.0: Rebooting the Public Square? _His many publications include “The influence of collaboration on program outcomes: The Colorado Nurse-Family Partnership,” “A Computational Approach to Managing Performance Dynamics in Networked Governance Systems,” “Governance Infrastructures in 2020” and “Managing the Inclusion Process in Collaborative Governance.”

With undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Psychology as well as an M.B.A. and Masters of Science in Information Technology from the University of Denver, Johnston holds a Ph.D. in Information from the University of Michigan with a certificate on complex systems.

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Karim Lakhani

Faculty Member

Karim R. Lakhani is the Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Principal Investigator of the Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. He specializes in the management of technological innovation in firms and communities. His research is on distributed innovation systems and the movement of innovative activity to the edges of organizations and into communities. He has extensively studied the emergence of open source software communities and their unique innovation and product development strategies. He has also investigated how critical knowledge from outside of the organization can be accessed through innovation contests. Currently Professor Lakhani is investigating incentives and behavior in contests and the mechanisms behind scientific team formation through field experiments on the TopCoder platform and the Harvard Medical School.

Professsor Lakhani’s research on distributed innovation has been published in Harvard Business Review, Innovations, Management Science, Nature Biotechnology, Organization Science, Research Policy and the Sloan Management Review. He is the co-editor of Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (MIT Press), a book on community-based innovation. He has also published teaching cases on leading organizations practicing distributed innovation including:, InnoCentive, Google, Myelin Repair Foundation, SAP, Threadless, TopCoder and Wikipedia. His research has been featured in publications like BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., The New York Times, The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Wired.

Professor Lakhani was awarded his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an MS degree in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Canada. He was a recipient of the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship and a four year doctoral fellowship from Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Prior to coming to HBS he served as a Lecturer in the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Professor Lakhani has also worked in sales, marketing and new product development roles at GE Healthcare and was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. He was also the inaugural recipient of the TUM-Peter Pribilla Innovation Leadership Award.

He tweets @klakhani.

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Anita McGahan

Faculty Member

Anita M. McGahan is Associate Dean and holds the Rotman Chair of Management at the Rotman School and is cross-appointed at the Munk School of Public Affairs at the University of Toronto. She is also a Senior Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University and Chief Economist in the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her many professional roles also include election into the Executive leadership ranks of the Academy of Management and Chair of the Scientific Board at the Danish Research Institute on Industrial Dynamics (DRUID).

McGahan focuses on the study of broad social problems that are difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory and changing requirements – examples include widespread poverty, climate change, and health-system reform. One of her many missions involves a drastic revamping of professional education in order to inspire and equip students to apply their talents and knowledge in advancing solutions to these important problems. Her research deals primarily with industry change, entrepreneurship in the public interest, and global heath. She is the author of dozens of research articles as well as a 2004 HBS Press book called How Industries Evolve, and has been cited for her leadership in the strategic use of technology. McGahan is also an Area Editor at the Strategic Management Journal and Management Science and is on the boards of several major journals, including the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, and Strategic Organization. Academic publications include studies on the health delivery, pharmaceutical, medical devices, consumer electronics, brewing and insurance industries, among others. She has also conducted case studies on automobiles, wheelchairs, baseball, telecommunications, network software, airlines, pharmaceuticals, movie theaters, soft drinks, toy retailing, retail banking and high-pressure laminates. Her large-scale statistical studies have investigated broad patterns in the performance of organizations, such as the rate at which turnarounds occur, the importance of industry conditions to profitability, the conditions for persistence in profitability, and the importance of corporate parents in nurturing risky businesses.

She tweets @anitamcgahan.

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Sonal Shah

Faculty Member

Sonal is an economist and entrepreneur and has spent her career focused on economic policy and actionable innovation in the public and private sectors.  She is a global leader on social innovation policy including impact investing, data and technology for social good, and civic engagement through government, business, philanthropy and civil society.   She has led policy innovations at the White House for President Obama and the Treasury Department for President Clinton. She brings a unique and diverse background.  An international economist she set up the central bank in Bosnia, worked post conflict reconstruction in Kosovo, and implemented poverty reduction strategies in Africa and financial crises in Asia and Latin America. In the private sector, she led technology for civic engagement and impact investing initiatives at Google, as the head of Global Development Initiatives and set up and ran the environmental strategy, including investing clean technologies at Goldman Sachs.

She served as Deputy Assistant to the President for President Obama and founded the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.  She served on President Obama’s transition board leading the Technology, Innovation and Government Reform group.  In the Administration, Sonal led the efforts to set up innovative finance mechanisms for service delivery, leveraging technology to better engage citizens in government, creating new public private partnerships and supported and trained  leadership throughout government (political and civic service) to institutionalize innovative practices.

Sonal started her career at the U.S. Department of Treasury where she was an international economist working on timely development issues, including post-conflict development in Bosnia, Asian financial crisis, and poverty reduction in Africa.

One of Sonal’s most proud accomplishments is working with her siblings to create a non-profit, Indicorps, to build a new generation of socially conscious global leaders.  They worked with some of the leading non-profit and social organizations throughout India working on issues of healthcare, education, farming, women’s development, etc.  Indicorps created the service movement in India inspiring and incubating new social enterprises like Teach for India and Sarvajal.

She serves on the board of the Case Foundation, Oxfam America, Non Profit Finance Fund, the Urban Alliance. She serves as an adviser to the Democracy Fund and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

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Institutional Members

Geoff Mulgan

Institutional Member

Geoff Mulgan is Chief Executive of the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and Visiting Professor at University College London, the London School of Economics and the University of Melbourne.

A globally recognized pioneer in the field of social innovation, Mulgan founded the think tank Demos and served as Director of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and Director of Policy under Tony Blair. His CV also lists Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown, MP; lecturer in telecommunications; investment executive; and reporter on BBC TV and radio. He is a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, University College London, Melbourne University and a regular lecturer at the China Executive Leadership Academy. He is an adviser to many governments around the world, and has been a board member of the Work Foundation, the Health Innovation Council, Political Quarterly and the Design Council, as well as Chair of Involve. He is also currently Chair of the Studio Schools Trust and the Social Innovation Exchange.

He has written a number of books including: Communication and Control: networks and the new economies of communicationPolitics in an Anti-Political AgeConnexityGood and Bad Power: the Ideals and Betrayals of GovernmentThe Art of Public Strategy, and The Locust and the Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism’s Future.

He tweets @geoffmulgan.

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Thomas Prehn

Institutional Member

Thomas Prehn is the Director of MindLab. He is a public innovation thought leader, intensely involved in framing and forwarding the field. Thomas is an experienced presenter and facilitator and has worked with and advised a number of governments and public agencies around the world. As he has gained most of his change-making experience in the field of entrepreneurship with larger-scale social and system impact, his main focus is on how innovation disseminates, not as process nor facilitation, but as a culture of practice and leadership in the public sector – in order for the public sector to overcome the obstacles of the modern society and create qualitative value for citizens and companies.

Follow Thomas on Twitter.

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Lee Rainie

Institutional Member

Lee Rainie is the Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the internet. The Project has issued more than 450 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. All of its reports and datasets are available online for free at:

Lee is a co-author of _Networked: The new social operating system _with sociologist Barry Wellman about the social impact of the internet and cell phones. He is also co-author of five books about the future of the internet that are based on Project surveys about the subject.

Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, Lee was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.

He tweets @lrainie.

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Associate Members

Justin Longo

Associate Member

Justin Longo has a research portfolio in applied information and communications technologies (i.e., open government, Web 2.0 technologies, policy informatics, e-governance, etc.), public policy studies, environmental and natural resource policy and transboundary governance. Prior to his appointment, he served as a post-doctoral fellow in Open Governance at the Centre for Policy Informatics at Arizona State University.  During this time, his research focused on areas of open governance (outside processes of citizen and expert engagement) and open government (inside processes of knowledge sharing and collaboration). He was also an occasional visiting research fellow in The Governance Lab at New York University and the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria.

As the Cisco Systems Research Chair, Longo is responsible for developing various tools available for public sector modernization and will explore new avenues of networking and collaboration that will improve virtual management and enhance public engagement.

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Hollie Russon-Gilman

Associate Member

As the Fellow for Experiential Learning and Civic Innovation at the Beeck Center, Hollie designs and instructs students to solve seemingly intractable public problems, including co- teaching the STIA and Beeck Center course Social Impact @ Scale and the Futures Fellow,  she also serves as an advisor for the McCourt School’s Data for Social Good program.

Hollie holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the Department of Government at Harvard University and A.B. from the University of Chicago with highest honors in political science. Her dissertation is the first academic study of participatory budgeting in the U.S. Hollie is an expert in technology, civic engagement, innovation, and governance. She most recently served as Open Government and Innovation Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  In this role, she worked to implement President Obama’s second term Open Government agenda, including inter-agency commitments under the international Open Government Partnership.

Hollie is a founding researcher and organizer for the Open Society Foundation’s Transparency and Accountability Initiative and Harvard’s Gettysburg Project to revitalize 21st Century civic engagement. She has worked as an advisor, researcher, and consultant to leading nonprofits and foundations at the intersection of technology and the public sector, including the Case Foundation, Center for Global Development,, and the World Bank Institute.\n\nShe recently published “Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America” as part of Harvard Kennedy’s School series on Innovative Government. Democracy Reinvented is the first comprehensive academic treatment of participatory budgeting in the United States, situating it within a broader trend of civic technology and innovation.

She has also published in numerous academic and popular audience publications including the International Studies Review and Journal of Public Deliberation.  Her writings appear frequently in diverse publications, including Al Jazeera America, Brookings’ TechTank, Boston Globe, Foreign Affairs, Harvard’s Challenges to Democracy, Next City, Slate and Vox, Washington post.  She is a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, AAAS Big Data & Analytics Fellowship, winner of Environmental Working Group’s 2014 Award for using technology for public mobilization, and served as the 2014-2015 Innovations Advisor for the Harvard Kennedy School Innovations in American government programs.

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Post-Doc Network

Nina Cohodes
Post-Doc Network

Harvard Business School

Juan Ortiz Freuler
Post-Doc Network
John Harlow
Post-Doc Network

Arizona State University, Center for Policy Informatics

Jay Horwitz
Post-Doc Network

University of Toronto