Center for American Progress

Governing by the Numbers – The Promise of Data-Driven Policymaking in the Information Age
Press Release

Governing by the Numbers – The Promise of Data-Driven Policymaking in the Information Age

Keynote address by Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD)

Washington, D.C. – Advances in information technologies provide the ability to quickly and cheaply collect, aggregate, analyze, and disseminate enormous volumes of data. These advances provide the opportunity to rethink and reshape the way government makes decisions. By building a robust information infrastructure, policymakers can position themselves to diagnose problems and implement solutions with far greater precision than ever before.

Please join the Center for American Progress on Monday, April 23 for an address by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD), who is leading the way toward more data-driven government. As mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley achieved dramatic gains in efficiency and effectiveness through the renowned data-tracking system known as CitiStat. Now governor of Maryland, O’Malley recently signed legislation into law to implement StateStat, the state-level version of CitiStat. O’Malley will discuss his vision for StateStat at this event. Following O’Malley’s remarks, a distinguished panel of experts will discuss ideas for implementing data-driven government including Daniel C. Esty and Reece Rushing who will present their new paper, “Governing by the Numbers: The Promise of Data-Driven Policymaking in the Information Age,” which recommends steps at the federal level.

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Featured Speaker:
Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD)

Introduction by:
John Podesta,
President and CEO of the Center for American Progress

Featured Panelists:
Larisa Benson,
Director of Government Management Accountability and Performance in the office of Washington Governor Chris Gregoire
Daniel C. Esty,
Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University
Reece Rushing,
Director of Regulatory and Information Policy at the Center for American Progress
Nell Williams,
Vice President of Revenue Management Deployment and Systems Strategy for Marriott International

Moderated by:
Sally Katzen,
Former Deputy Director for Management at the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton

Monday, April 23, 2007
Program: 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Admission is free.

Lunch will be served at noon.

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Martin O’Malley won election as governor of Maryland in November 2006 and was inaugurated in January. Previously, he served as mayor of Baltimore for more than six years. During this time, O’Malley was able to bring the city into fiscal balance – the city now boasts a $38 million budget surplus – while cutting property taxes to a 30-year low and dramatically improving city programs and services. Baltimore also experienced the largest drop in violent crime of any large city and saw student test scores rise across the board. Time Magazine recently named O’Malley one of the country’s five best big-city mayors, highlighting his innovative CitiStat data-tracking system that has propelled improvements in city government. In addition, O’Malley has given priority to homeland security, serving as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Homeland Security Task Force beginning in 2003.

Before being elected mayor, O’Malley served two terms on the Baltimore City Council and worked as a prosecutor for the State’s Attorney of Baltimore City. In 1986, Barbara Mikulski named O’Malley field director of her successful campaign for U.S. Senate, and O’Malley later worked as a legislative fellow in Mikulski’s Senate office. O’Malley received his law degree from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of Catholic University.

John Podesta is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress. Podesta served as Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001. From 1997 to 1998, he served as both an Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. Earlier, from January 1993 to 1995, he was Assistant to the President, Staff Secretary and a senior policy adviser on government information, privacy, telecommunications security and regulatory policy. Podesta is currently a Visiting Professor of Law on the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center, a position he also held from January 1995 to 1997. He has taught courses on technology policy, congressional investigations, legislation, copyright and public interest law. Podesta has held a number of positions on Capitol Hill including: Counselor to Democratic Leader Senator Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996); Chief Counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee (1987-1988); Chief Minority Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks; Security and Terrorism; and Regulatory Reform; and Counsel on the Majority Staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee (1979-1981). In addition, in 1988, Podesta founded with his brother Tony, Podesta Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C. government relations and public affairs firm.

A Chicago native, Podesta worked as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Honors Program in the Land and Natural Resources Division (1976-1977), and as a Special Assistant to the Director of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency (1978-1979). He has served as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the United States Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. Podesta is a 1976 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and a 1971 graduate of Knox College.

Larisa Benson is the director of Government Management Accountability and Performance in the office of Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. GMAP is a management tool to review and improve the performance of state agencies. Benson previously served on the faculty at the Evans School at the University of Washington, where she was the director of the Executive MPA program and taught courses in performance, financial management and executive leadership. She also has served as a senior budget analyst for the City of Seattle and a negotiator for the Seattle School District. She has consulted with local governments in performance measurement, privatization and labor-management cooperation, and has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.

Daniel C. Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University. He holds faculty appointments in both Yale’s Environment and Law Schools. He also serves as the director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy ( and the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale (

Esty is the author or editor of nine books and numerous articles on environmental policy issues and the relationships between environment and corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, globalization, governance, and development. His most recent book, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, argues that pollution control and natural resource management have become critical elements of marketplace success and explains how leading-edge companies have folded environmental thinking into their core business strategies. Prior to taking up his current position at Yale, Esty was a senior fellow at the Institute for International Economics (1993-94), served in a variety of senior positions on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-93), and practiced law in Washington, D.C. (1986-89).

Esty spent the 2000-01 academic year as a Visiting Professor at INSEAD, the European business school in Fontainebleau, France. In 2002, Esty received the American Bar Association Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy for “pioneering a data-driven approach to environmental decision making” and developing the global Environmental Sustainability Index. He also served four years as an elected Planning and Zoning Commissioner in his hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut. He has advised companies across the world on energy, environment, and sustainability issues and serves as the chairman of Esty Environmental Partners (, a corporate environmental strategy group based in New Haven, CT.

Sally Katzen served almost eight years in the Clinton administration, first as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget, then deputy assistant to the President for Economic Policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council in the White House, and then as the deputy director for management at OMB. Since leaving government service in January 2001, she has been teaching both graduate students (University of Pennsylvania Law School in spring ’03; Johns Hopkins University in fall ’03-’04; University of Michigan Law School in spring ’04, fall ’05, spring ’06; and George Mason University Law School in spring and fall ’06) and undergraduates (at Smith College in fall ’01-’04; Johns Hopkins University in spring ’02, ’06; and University of Michigan in Washington Program from ’05-’07).

Before joining the Clinton administration, Katzen was a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, specializing in regulatory and legislative matters. While in private practice, Katzen was an adjunct professor at the Georgetown Law Center and served in various leadership roles in the American Bar Association (including chair of the section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and two terms as D.C. Delegate to the House of Delegates of the ABA), as well as president of the Federal Communications Bar Association and president of the Women’s Legal Defense Fund. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College and magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was the first woman editor in chief of the Law Review. Following graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She also served in the Carter administration for two years as the general counsel of the Council on Wage and Price Stability in the Executive Office of the President.

Reece Rushing is director of regulatory and information policy at the Center for American Progress. Rushing handles a wide variety of issues for the Center, including health and safety regulation, consumer protection, information policy, and government reform issues. Over his more than three years at the Center, Rushing has authored papers on moving government decision-making into the information age; preventing privacy intrusions in homeland security; and protecting online consumers from fraud and abuse. In addition, he has supervised reports on chemical security, Superfund toxic waste sites, and ozone pollution. He also authored “Special Interest Takeover,” released in May 2004, which provided a comprehensive look at the Bush administration’s health, safety, and environmental record.

Prior to arriving at the Center, Rushing served as a policy analyst at OMB Watch, where for more than seven years he led the group’s regulatory work. At OMB Watch, Rushing coordinated a diverse coalition of environmental organizations, consumer groups, labor unions, and food safety advocates. Rushing also led OMB Watch’s work on information policy in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as large amounts of previously public data began to be withheld.

Nell Williams is the vice president of revenue management at Marriott International. Her current areas of responsibility include the deployment of Revenue Management people in the field and the system strategy and solutions that enable them to be effective. She also provides direct oversight to a team of 40 revenue managers who provide revenue management and pricing services to over 340 select service and extended stay hotels in the Marriott portfolio.

Williams is the business owner of Marriott’s One Yield system which was the recipient of the 2005 CIO Magazine’s Grand Enterprise Value Award. Since joining Marriott 22 years ago, Williams has held a variety of positions with Marriott in hotels and at corporate headquarters in the sales and marketing and operations disciplines.
Williams holds an MBA in marketing and finance from Boston College and a BA in English Literature from the Catholic University of America.

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