February 20 – Edited to reflect Dr. Patil’s proper title. I suppose I was projecting when I erroneously wrote that he would be a Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Privacy.
Earlier today Federal Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith announced that the Administration has named Dr. DJ Patil as Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy
Privacy and Chief Data Scientist. Patil has been a data scientist for most of his career, which includes work in academia, government and the private sector. He is credited as one of the people who coined the term data scientist. He comes to the White House from RelateIQ, where he was Vice President of Product.
Much like with the Chief Technology Officer position, The White House gives the Chief Data Scientist a broad set of responsibilities. From the announcement:
“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. 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.”
Patil will also work on the government’s efforts in open data and data science. The initial press surrounding the announcement has focused on the data scientist part of Patil’s job title.
What could prove interesting is how much time he will spend on the data privacy part of that title.