Chicago Harris names Brett Goldstein inaugural Fellow in Urban Science

Brett Goldstein, Chief Data and Information Officer for the City of Chicago, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Fellowship in Urban Science at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. He will begin the two-year fellowship on July 1, 2013.

Chicago Harris, with generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, established the Fellowship in Urban Science as a way to connect scholars and students with policy practitioners who have experience and expertise leveraging data and information technology to address public policy issues.

As the inaugural Fellow in Urban Science, Goldstein will advise Chicago Harris on the creation of a new master’s degree on computation and public policy that will be offered jointly with the Department for Computer Science. In addition, he will help convene the Urban Technology Innovators' Conference, a new initiative organized by Chicago Harris and the City of Chicago that seeks to create a peer-learning network for municipal technology innovators.


Goldstein also will work with the Computation Institute's Urban Center for Computation and Data and serve as a liaison to other major universities that are beginning to do research and teaching in urban science, greatly broadening the reach and impact of the activities at Chicago Harris.

“Brett is truly a pioneer in the effort to leverage ‘big data’ to improve public policy and government services,” said Chicago Harris Dean Colm O’Muircheartaigh. "As the inaugural Fellow in Urban Science, he will help Chicago Harris advance the knowledge and practice of advanced data analytics in urban policy, and prepare future policy leaders to develop evidence-based solutions to society’s most pressing public policy challenges.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Goldstein to be the first city’s municipal Chief Data Officer in 2011. In this role, he led successful efforts to use data to improve the way city government serves its residents and established one of the largest open-data programs in the country.

In 2012, Goldstein also assumed the role of Chief Information Officer for the City of Chicago, in which he worked to accelerate Chicago’s growth as a global hub of innovation and technology, adopting modern technology to save taxpayer funds, creating a robust collaboration with Chicago’s developer community and integrating data analytics into everyday government operations. Goldstein began his career in the start-up sector, spending seven years at OpenTable.

“Brett has been a driving force for Chicago's tech community, creating a smarter, more nimble and more responsive government,” said Emanuel. “Under his tenure, Chicago has become a more data-driven city and a leader in innovation, and his work will allow us to continue to make Chicago a better place to live.”

“Chicago Harris demonstrates a commitment to rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship, with strong partnerships with the Department of Computer Science and the Computation Institute, and a desire to advance the field of data science, especially so it can be leveraged it for public service,” Goldstein said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue working to meld urban science and data analytics and work with this impressive community of faculty and staff.”

Goldstein earned his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Chicago. He also holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Suffolk University. He is pursuing his PhD in Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He resides in Chicago with his wife and three children.