Adjunct Faculty David Satter's Wall Street Journal Op-Ed

David Satter, who teaches a class --  Russian Politics, wrote this op-ed on Putin in the Wall Street Journal



Mario Makol, MA In Government Alum Participates in panel on CSPAN

Mario Makol discussed the crisis in South Sudan.  See CSPAN video here. 


Federal and Local Perspectives on Open Data

This morning's Government Analytics Breakfast forum welcomed Hyon Kim, Program Director at and Rebbeca Williams, Senior Implementation Advisor at the Center for Government Excellence to discuss how the federal and state/local governments are promoting open data.

At the federal level, those in the office have been working over the past few years to establish the site as a comprehensive and up-to-date catalog of all the datasets available from government agencies.  Agencies must now make their data machine-readable and provide complete metadata. is used by researchers across the public and private sectors to locate datasets for analysis to help solve meaningful problems.

City governments are likewise expanding their efforts to make data more available and of higher quality.  The What Works Cities initiative partners with mid-size cities to help them put best practices into place for data-driven decision making.  

As both federal and local public officials move forward to make government more open, transparent and accountable, policymakers will need to address the accompanying ethical and privacy issues.

A video of the recording can be viewed here.


David Satter's Op-Ed on Russia in the WSJ

David Satter, who teaches in the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, published an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal about Russia's true intentions with respect to their interferences in American politics.  In the article, "From Russua With Chaos," Satter writes:

Investigating the role of Russian disinformation in the 2016 election requires understanding the layers of deception in which Russian intelligence specialize. This won’t be possible if Mr. Trump and his adversaries are more determined to destroy each other than to face the Russian threat.

Read the full article here.


How IARPA Judges the Success of Investments in Research and Innovation

The Government Analytics Breakfast (GAB) Forum was pleased to welcome Dr. Jason Matheny, Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), and learn about the methods used to evaluate IARPA's research investments.

IARPA is a U.S. Government organization that invests in high-risk, high-payoff research in support of national intelligence.  Approximately one quarter of IARPA's budget is devoted to measuring and evaluating the quality of the research it funds, a very difficult task.  For example, Dr. Matheny noted that scientists often learn a lot from what doesn't work.  IARPA devotes time and resources to recording failures so future scholars can learn from them (and thereby avoid the "file drawer problem").

Two metrics commonly used to measure research success are (1) the number or impact of publications and (2) the transfer of technologies that result from the research undertaken.  Dr. Matheny, explained, however, that these are certainly not the only measures of success available, but it's not clear which measures are "best", particularly when determinig future funding.

Increasingly IARPA is using prize money (instead of traditional contracts) to entice a wider breadth of researchers to investigate solutions that can be applied in the intelligence field.  Under this compensation structure, teams of researchers need not submit proposals to receive funding -- they simply submit their solutions and IARPA then judges which solution(s) is best.

Dr. Matheny concluded by noting the importance of scientists learning how to communicate complex findings to wide audiences.  He suggested the researchers leverage tools like videos and podcasts as means to convey the importance of their work to nontechnical audiences, including high-level policymakers.

You can view the entire talk here.