The GovLab at NYU Tandon Announces Formation of Global Advisory Council

Organization Completes Fifth Year of Service and Looks to Expand Reach, Impact

BROOKLYN, New York, September 25, 2018 – The Governance Lab (The GovLab) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering announced the formation of a Global Advisory Council — comprised of a diverse array of academic, business, nonprofit, and public sector professionals — to drive the strategic evolution of The GovLab’s continued work in the areas of governance innovation, data, and civic engagement. 

As democracies across the globe face growing pressure to become more effective and responsive, the demand for solutions and strategies to unlock and leverage the data generated across sectors and meaningfully engage the public has never been greater. The GovLab, one of the world’s leading institutions focusing on the intersections of technology and governance, aims to leverage its newly formed council to tap into the global wisdom of what is needed to govern more effectively and more legitimately.  

“The world’s democracies are under incredible strain, and as The GovLab continues to mature, our work will be strengthened by leveraging the collective intelligence of our partners to formulate strategies for maximum impact and help us make strategic decisions about the future,” said Beth Simone Noveck, director of The GovLab and a professor in NYU Tandon’s Department of Technology, Culture and Society. “Each member of our advisory council has demonstrated a profound commitment to the values of good governance and strong democracy. We are encouraged and inspired by their willingness to volunteer their time and expertise to advance The GovLab’s mission.”

The Council’s formation comes as The GovLab, which has completed its fifth year of service, looks to expand the organization’s reach and impact. 

"There has never been a more urgent need to usher governance into the 21st century to overcome the deficits of trust that are systemic across the world’s governing bodies,” said Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder and chief research officer. “We are deeply grateful to have this diverse group of leaders — all of whom are accomplished professionals who embody integrity — help us assess governance developments across the world, and assist us in prioritizing and focusing on impactful issues that may be ignored by others.”

The council will initially include nine professionals, each possessing deep experience and expertise in the systemic change of institutions across the globe. They include:

  • David Chai, strategic advisor
  • Pablo Collada, former executive director of Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente
  • Bo Cutter, senior fellow and director of the Next American Economy Project at the Roosevelt Institute
  • Rod Glover, professor of practice and head of enterprise at Monash Sustainable Development Institute in Melbourne, Australia
  • Claudia Juech, president of the Cloudera Foundation
  • Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki, head of urban analytics at Esri
  • Anita M. McGahan, professor and George E. Connell chair of organizations and society at the University of Toronto
  • Jonathan Soffer, Technology, Culture and Society Department chair, NYU Tandon and
  • Audrey Tang, digital minister of Taiwan. 

“The NYU Tandon School of Engineering takes great pride in the positive impact that we make on society by fostering innovation in an inclusive manner, and The GovLab’s work to advance open governance embodies our dedication to a more just and collaborative world,” said Dean Jelena Kovačević. “On behalf of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, I want to thank The GovLab’s newly formed Global Advisory Council for their service to this important cause.”

Council Members Comment

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to advise the GovLab on its highly nuanced and calculated operations,” said Chai, the strategic advisor. “As a communications professional serving in both political and academic roles for more than 15 years, I am excited to develop and support outreach strategies for an organization that seemingly transcends sectors.”

“Now more than ever, there is a need to open the institutions, methods, and tools by which we govern and make power accessible for the people who have been left out,” said Collada, the former executive director of Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente. “I have devoted a large portion of my career to working with organizations and governments towards many of the same goals The GovLab hopes to achieve. I am excited to continue in that respect from an advisory perspective.” 

“I am very much looking forward to working with the dynamic and motivated individuals that make up my fellow council members and the GovLab team,” said Cutter of the Next American Economy Project. “As an economist and former policymaker, I am always pleased to see organizations devoting their time toward creating a better future, and I am content knowing that I will play a role in securing The GovLab’s vision for it.”

“As an ardent supporter of innovators who challenge the status quo and put forth new ways of thinking that prompt change in traditional and ineffective governance, I can say with confidence that my work aligns with The GovLab’s mission,” said Rod Glover of the Monash Sustainable Development. “Working with governments, businesses, and civil societies has strengthened my belief that there are opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in every sector. I hope to help The GovLab continue to seize those opportunities in every way possible.”

“Our potential to realize impact relies more and more on our ability to partner across sectors. I have witnessed first-hand how The GovLab has inspired change across public, private and philanthropic actors,” said Claudia Juech of the Cloudera Foundation. “With some direction from the group of incisive experts they have assembled, they possess the capacity to truly make a difference.” 

“As it continues to expand, data is constantly asserting itself as one of the most valuable resources at any problem-solver’s disposal. Individuals and organizations that recognize and leverage the power of data to advance the public good are becoming more and more essential as the world of data grows exponentially,” said Esri’s Mashariki. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to advise The GovLab on how they can continue harnessing data and technology for public good.”

“With technology expanding access to information more than ever before, actionable knowledge remains a vital resource that can now be distributed at incredible lengths,” said McGahan of the University of Toronto. “I have a deep respect for organizations that work to advance research and actionable knowledge at an international level, and I am thrilled that I will be able to assist The GovLab in doing so as a council member.”

“As chair of the Department of Technology Culture and Society at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, I have seen Beth Noveck thrive in her role as a professor as well as director of The GovLab, and have had the privilege of advising the GovLab on some of its projects in the past,” Soffer said. “I am very much looking forward to continuing in that capacity officially, and I am eager to see how far The GovLab can grow with Beth Noveck and Stefaan Verhulst leading it.”

“Organizations like The GovLab that strive to promote collective action and an open, collaborative, and holistic political and social environment are tackling some of the most daunting challenges posed by society today. That very same agenda is shared by Taiwan’s vibrant civic tech communities,” said Taiwan’s Tang. “In truth, there is no telling what the future of democracy holds, but I am pleased to be involved with like-minded people who endeavor to ensure this future is bright.” 

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


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, one of the country’s foremost private research universities, 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