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Martin O'Malley Joins Startup ClearGov's Board of Directors

The former Maryland governor made a name for himself with data. Now he's going to help lead a startup built on data.

Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor and current advisor to the nation-spanning MetroLab Network, has joined the ClearGov board of directors.

The company, which offers local governments and school districts interactive statistics dashboards as well as back-end data analytics, officially welcomed O’Malley on Jan. 1. In several ways, the former governor’s resume aligns with what the company does. As Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor, O’Malley achieved notoriety for working data in as a driving force behind government operations.

That background shone through when Chris Bullock, ClearGov’s chief executive officer, met Martin O’Malley at a Rutgers University-organized conference in Boston last year.

“We connected with him and he instantly understood what we were doing,” Bullock said. “He’s obviously got a lot of experience in the government analytics space.”

Perhaps the most famous of his achievements was the launch of CitiStat, a program that gathered performance data for Baltimore’s municipal operations. He carried the program with him to the state level, and the program spread to other jurisdictions.

“A data-driven approach to governing has become the norm in large cities,” O’Malley said in a press release. “ClearGov represents a powerful platform for tens of thousands of small and mid-size communities to take advantage of the latest technologies to improve government decision-making and drive transparency with a turnkey solution and minimal investment.”

O’Malley also ran in the Democratic presidential primary race in 2016 before dropping out and endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The move comes at a busy moment for ClearGov. After raising a $1.2 million seed round from investors last year, the company rolled out its network of school district portals; extended its municipal network to cover every municipality in the U.S.; and launched a tool to help people compare local governments’ data on a per-capita basis. According to Bullock, about one-quarter of Massachusetts communities use ClearGov and the company has customers in 12 states.

And though he didn’t give many specifics, Bullock said the company has more announcements coming soon.

The presence of O’Malley, he said, will help the company in a few ways. For one, he has a lot of connections. The company will also look to him for high-level strategic direction.

“Just as somebody who’s been in government, I think he’ll really see ClearGov through the eyes of our clients,” Bullock said.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.