Socrata Announces New Director of Multilateral and NGO Jeff Kaplan to Help Expand Open Data Use Worldwide
Socrata, a Seattle-based cloud software company focused exclusively on democratizing access to government data, today announced Jeff Kaplan as its first-ever Director of Multilateral and NGO.
Based in Socrata’s Washington, D.C. office and already a recognized global leader in open data, Kaplan will focus on opportunities for global multilateral institutions and non-governmental organizations to use Socrata’s open data platform, open performance solution, and other analytics apps to improve decision-making and drive innovation.
Before joining Socrata, Kaplan spent a decade as a strategic management consultant to government agencies and multinational companies. Over the past four years Kaplan has been working predominantly as a Senior Consultant with the World Bank.
“Open data has quickly achieved a momentum and importance for multilateral organizations, governments, and development partners of all kinds that is undeniable,” says Amparo Ballivian, Lead Economist at the World Bank’s Data Development Group. “Jeff is one of the most effective, pragmatic, and thoughtful open data leaders in the world. He is a great asset to engage these communities and grow the open data ecosystem.”
“I am passionate about the transformative potential of open data for organizations and enterprises,” explains Kaplan. “I have seen firsthand how opening data can power entrepreneurship and innovations that tangibly improve people’s lives and an organization’s effectiveness.”
Kaplan was instrumental in the launch of high-profile open data efforts by the World Bank and leading countries from Eastern Europe to Africa – including Moldova, first in open data among Eastern European and former Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, and Nigeria’s Edo State, the first sub-national open data portal in Africa. Kaplan also led a series of open data assessments for governments in Africa, Latin America, and Russia using a diagnostic tool he co-designed for the World Bank. Most recently, he advised Mexico’s Office of the President during the opening phase of its national open data initiative.
Kaplan was an early thought leader in open technologies. He was Founder and Director of the Open ePolicy Group, a pioneering, global network of government CIOs and industry executives based at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society that published the “Roadmap for Open ICT Ecosystems.”
“Jeff is a visionary. He sees the global potential of open data as a tool for smarter development and widespread quality of life improvement. He’s experienced, tech savvy, and able to assess what organizations need to find success quickly,” says Socrata Founder and CEO Kevin Merritt.
Kaplan received a B.A. in History from Yale University. He then completed his J.D. at Harvard Law School, where he served as the Editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal.
Hiring Kaplan comes on the heels of Socrata announcing its suite of financial transparency apps. These open data apps not only increase access to finance data but make it easy to sort through and understand, making them useful tools for government organizations, multilaterals, and NGOs.
Socrata has already established itself as the leading company in open data for more than 100 governments and organizations on five continents. Delivered as turnkey cloud services, Socrata’s data consumerization products help organizations unlock data and transform it into useful information that everyone can easily access, visualize, share, and reuse. Innovators like the World Bank, Kenya, the United Nations Development Programme, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, USAID, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the City of New York have all chosen Socrata as the data sharing platform for their open innovation initiatives.