New York, NY (May 22, 2009)—New York Law School Professor Beth Noveck, an expert on the impact of technology on legal and political institutions, has been appointed the Federal Government’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government. She will be based in the White House Office of Science and Technology where she will lead the Open Government Initiative.
On his first day in office, President Obama signed a memorandum, “Transparency and Open Government,” which calls for creating an “unprecedented level of openness in Government” and establishing “a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” Professor Noveck served on the Obama-Biden Transition team’s Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform Policy Working Group.
Yesteryday, Professor Noveck, along with Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer, explained the Open Government Initiative and announced a three-phase public engagement process on the White House Web site regarding policymaking; first, the public is invited to suggest ideas for open government recommendations; second, the best ideas will be featured on a blog for discussion; and third the public will be invited to use a Wiki to draft recommendations collaboratively.
The White House also launched the Open Government Innovations Gallery which “celebrates the innovators and innovations who are championing the President’s vision of more effective and open government.” One of the programs featured as an example of how the government is engaging public participation is New York Law School’s Peer-to-Patent project, done in cooperation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Founded by Professor Noveck, Peer-to-Patent opens the patent examination process to the public participation for the first time in patent history. It is the first social networking project with a direct link to decision making by the federal government.
Professor Noveck is on a leave of absence from her duties at New York Law School, which include being the Director of both the Institute for Information Law & Policy and the Democracy Design Workshop, while she works for the White House on this Open Government Initiative. She has taught at the Law School since 2002. She is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful, (Brookings Institution Press, June 2009).
New York Law School has been training students to lead the conversation on open government work through one of its eight academic centers, the Institute for Information Law & Policy (IILP). One such initiative is the Democracy Design Workshop, this collaborative “do tank” allows students and faculty at the Law School and across institutions to work together in teams to develop legal and software code to foster open, transparent, and collaborative ways of working and governing.
About New York Law School
Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city’s centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School’s renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, urban legal studies, international and comparative law, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The School is noted for its eight academic centers: Center on Business Law & Policy, Center on Financial Services Law, Center for International Law, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center for Real Estate Studies, Institute for Information Law & Policy, and Justice Action Center. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and enrolls some 1,500 students in its full- and part-time J.D. program and its Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation program. www.nyls.edu
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