Stephen Goldsmith


Stephen Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country's leaders in public-private partnerships, competition and privatization. Stephen was also the chief domestic policy advisor to the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, the Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the district attorney for Marion County, Indiana from 1979 to 1990. He has written The Power of Social Innovation; Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector; Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship; The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America, and The Responsive City: Engaging Communities through Data-Smart Governance.

July 26, 2016

Why Dissenting Viewpoints Are Good for Efficiency

Encouraging informed disagreement is the only way a public leader can learn whether an initiative might -- or might not -- succeed.

July 15, 2016

Using Data to Dramatically Enhance County Services, Accountability

County leaders should seek to deploy data for preempting and solving problems, changing accountability and enforcement, and improving customer service.

July 1, 2016

Next Generation of Public Employees Must Understand Data and Policy

Cities need to attract and cultivate a workforce of tech-minded employees who can fully leverage new technologies and data initiatives to promote change and create public value.

June 23, 2016

Using Data Analytics to Curb the Billions We're Wasting in Our Jails

By using data analytics to make decisions about pretrial detention, local governments could find substantial savings while making their communities safer.

June 15, 2016

Chicago’s CIO Addresses IoT Privacy Concerns Through Citizen Engagement

Brenna Berman discusses potential benefits and challenges with the Internet of Things.

June 8, 2016

5 Key Themes to Consider When Implementing Internet of Things Initiatives

Data collected from the Internet of Things must be integrated into existing strategies while keeping new challenges in mind.

May 19, 2016

Using Social Media as a Data-Smart Governance Tool

Cities are learning to mine this trove of information to predict the impact of future events and significantly improve operations.

April 21, 2016

Urban Visionaries Don’t Just Happen

Indianapolis' longtime mayor worked hard at crafting a big idea for his city, and it paid off handsomely.

April 7, 2016

Philadelphia's Streamlined Approach to Procurement Saw Quick Results

The city's FastFWD initiative used a business accelerator to connect interested entrepreneurs with eight city departments for collaborative thinking and development, which resulted in nine pilot projects and two full contracts.

April 5, 2016

How a Simple Data Query Made One D.C. Agency Smarter, More Efficient

Washington, D.C.’s Urban Forestry Administration set an example for cities everywhere about how powerful a new set of data can be when creatively leveraged.

March 21, 2016

4 Steps to Overcoming the Data Gap

Although there’s a void between how cities want to implement data-driven solutions and their ability to do so, there are some strategies that will narrow the disparity.

March 17, 2016

How L.A. Is Managing Mobility to Optimize Transportation

The city is at the forefront of the emerging concept of mobility management.

March 9, 2016

Using Technology to Enhance Civic Engagement

Civic engagement doesn’t happen by default. Technology can help government leaders reach community members.

February 22, 2016

How Proper Snow Removal Can Lead to Community Modernization

St. Paul, Minn., took an unusual path to improving a vital public service, one that holds promise for other city operations.

January 13, 2016

Standards Are Crucial to Successful Open Data Policies

Data standards create a common structure that facilitates information sharing, inter-organizational cooperation and the ability to build on past successes — all important ingredients to driving data-smart innovation.

December 21, 2015

Bloomberg Philanthropies Helps Propel Data-Driven Initiatives

The foundation is providing a useful roadmap for results-oriented governance.

December 4, 2015

How Data-Driven Management Improves City Government Efficiency

Houston's mayor has brought capable city personnel to the forefront of her leadership strategy, using data to efficiently enhance their skills and maximize their impact.

December 1, 2015

Innovation: What’s the Next Phase?

Why government managers need to know about machine learning.

September 30, 2015

New York City CTO Streamlines Tech Strategy

Minerva Tantoco aligns agency efforts with the citywide strategic vision.

September 17, 2015

Data-Driven Governance Goes Mainstream

What began as a niche innovation is creating a wider transformation of government culture.

September 9, 2015

Protecting Big Data

Seattle’s digital privacy initiative aims to keep innovation on track with new data safeguards.

August 21, 2015

Data Analytics Drives Cities to Re-Think How They Protect Health, Safety

Cities are moving toward a regulatory regime that, rather than striving to protect incumbents from competition, attempts to do a better job of protecting health and safety -- and at lower costs to taxpayers.

August 18, 2015

Local Government Leaders Strive to Innovate

Far more than the public realizes, innovators are making extraordinary efforts in communities across America.

July 24, 2015

Analytics with a Side of Discretion

To fully realize the benefits of advanced analytics, government needs to build “documented exceptions” into health inspections.

July 24, 2015

Denver’s Peak Academy Creates Change Agents in Government

The people who deliver services directly to the public know a lot. Denver is setting the pace for tapping that resource.

May 19, 2015

How Cloud-Based Mobility is Delivering Value to Small Cities

The combination of new cloud-accessible, easily implemented customer relationship management technology coupled with mobility enables meaningful results.

April 23, 2015

Bloomberg's $42 Million Bet on Cities and the Power of Data

A new Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative aims to help 100 cities govern more effectively.

April 23, 2015

6 Defining Traits of an Innovation Team Leader

The challenges of directing a city-government "i-team" demand additional characteristics unique to the innovation process.

April 1, 2015

Closing the Digital Divide with Payphones

An innovative solution will bring high-speed Wi-Fi to all New York City residents.

March 19, 2015

The Growing Evidence That P3s Are Delivering Value

Early signs are positive for the latest crop of big infrastructure public-private partnerships.

March 11, 2015

Why Benchmarking Matters

How other cities’ progress should factor into your transparency efforts.

January 12, 2015

5 Tips for Getting Started with Analytics in Government

These five elements can help you make the case for how mobile tools, data mining and cloud software can be combined to improve responsiveness.

December 16, 2014

Doubling Down on the Innovation-Team Model

Another 14 cities are about to build their own "i-teams." No longer an experimental approach, it's a proven route to cross-cutting accomplishments.

December 1, 2014

4 Trends to Watch in 2015

In the New Year, municipalities will face the challenge of ensuring that their data-driven approaches empower them to be responsive to citizens’ wants, needs and ideas.

October 27, 2014

Technology Takes on Hunger

Interactive Web tools and virtual platforms help city officials break down barriers to food access.

October 2, 2014

How Social Media Listening Can Improve Public Health

Citizen-generated data obtained by social media listening is becoming a valuable public health tool.

September 18, 2014

The Core Features of the Data-Powered City

Today's most innovative civic leaders are using technology to fulfill the promise of efficient and responsive local government.

September 9, 2014

Regulatory Reform with Data and Technology

Incorporating digital approaches throughout the regulatory process has shown higher-quality results, far lower transaction costs and fewer job-killing delays.

September 3, 2014

Austin Targets Youth Obesity With Neighborhood-Level Data

Neighborhood-level maps illuminate the conditions faced by families and children in the area, all while protecting personal information.

July 24, 2014

Culture Change at the Waterworks

By investing in customer service and innovation, D.C. Water has done far more than simply rebrand an essential public service.

July 21, 2014

Health Data Isn’t Just for Hospitals

How planners in Oregon and Kentucky use smartphones to collect valuable information.

June 19, 2014

How Indiana Is Supercharging Data for Efficiency

By making all of its data easily and quickly available across agencies, the state stands to save money and improve services.

May 28, 2014

Can Analytics Help Curb Violence?

Promising public safety initiatives are helping make city streets safer for all.

May 1, 2014

Leading Data-Driven Breakthroughs

Creativity and a willingness to take on risk can help unlock data’s value.

March 27, 2014

Data Helps Calculate the True Costs of Blight

A data-rich understanding of properties in distress informs a better plan of attack.

February 24, 2014

3 Ways to Optimize Urban Infrastructure

Descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics help cities do more with less.

February 7, 2014

Big Data Gives a Boost to Health and Human Services

Data mining and predictive analytics will make social service agencies more effective.

December 19, 2013

HealthCare.gov: Lessons from a Fiasco

The botched rollout of the federal health exchange underlines the need for changes in how governments at all levels handle major technology projects.

December 4, 2013

5 Issues to Watch in Data and Technology

As governments are seeking to move toward more effective uses of data, here are five topics to watch in 2014.

November 25, 2013

Can Technology Prevent the Next Galveston?

Smartly deployed, useful and actionable information systems, informed by readily available data, can help alleviate the harmful effects of any disaster.

October 25, 2013

Paint a (Data-Driven) Picture

Visualizing information is the next step in making open data portals more useful to the public.

September 20, 2013

Data Analysis and the Promise of Speedy Government

Combining data with new analytics techniques can help governments react nimbly and purposefully.

September 19, 2013

Open Data’s Road to Better Transit

Utilizing public transit’s mass amount of data can benefit government and citizens alike.

August 26, 2013

Building the Social Town Hall

The four stages of social media and government in 140 characters or fewer.

August 22, 2013

Beyond Customer Service: Cities and the Promise of 311

These customer service systems are evolving into far more than a way to get a pothole filled or graffiti cleaned up.

July 29, 2013

Value Investing: The Case for Technology

Public entities nationwide are incorporating data and technology into their operations and producing new levels of efficiency, community engagement and public value.

July 9, 2013

How Some Cities Are Creating Permanent Pipelines of Innovation

Some cities are finding ways to create the urgency and political will to produce permanent pipelines of innovation.

June 20, 2013

How Louisville, Ky., Is Using a 'Stat' Program to Transform the Culture of Government

Louisville, Ky., is showing how a performance metrics initiative can transform a government's operational culture.

May 22, 2013

To Catch a Sniper

How data analytics are transforming police work and taking criminals off the streets.

March 16, 2011

Weighing the Value of Green Outcomes

"The goal of a clean environment is laudable. But public health benefits and costs have to be part of the equation." -- Stephen Goldsmith

November 10, 2004

Governing by Network: CIOs and the New Public Sector

The hierarchical form of government is in decline. Today, it's government by network, and in the middle of it all are public-sector CIOs.