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Ian Kalin Joins Socrata From the White House as Director of Open Data

Socrata, Inc. [www.socrata.com], a Seattle-based cloud software company focused exclusively on democratizing access to government data, today announced that Ian Kalin has become its Director of Open Data.

Kalin’s responsibilities as Director of Open Data will include serving as a Chief Data Officer (CDO), as well as open data evangelist for all Socrata customers.

“We’ve observed that a common thread among the most successful open data initiatives – where a virtuous circle exists between government and citizens and developers – is a passionate and engaged Chief Data Officer,” says Kevin Merritt, Founder and CEO of Socrata, a venture-backed startup that has regional offices in Washington, DC, San Francisco and London. “The correlation is unmistakable. Agencies, states, counties, and cities with capable, empowered and passionate Chief Data Officers leverage their open data programs to deliver core services and stimulate civic engagement, trust, and economic growth. These CDO’s are part business development rep, part evangelist, and part ombudsman. Ian will offer his expertise and passion as part-time Chief Data Officer for our clients, helping all of them reap these sustainable benefits.”

Kalin is an open data innovator who wants to help governments improve the lives of citizens by liberating public-sector data, while assisting businesses as they transform raw data into products and services of real value. He comes to Socrata from the White House, where he served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow.

“My recent work in government,” explains Kalin, “was focused on leveraging open data to spur entrepreneurship, empower Americans, and support economic growth.”

Kalin also has relevant private-sector experience. As a consultant, he helped Google develop a strategy for working with open data, performance metrics, and data standards. And, as a Managing Director at market intelligence company Power Advocate, he provided supply chain insights to the energy sector for over $30 billion of construction projects. Kalin started his career as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Looking to the future, Kalin says: “The first basic step for all governments moving toward open data was to simply liberate their data. The next major wave will be turning open data into a two-way conversation, which will break down the walls between government bureaucracies and local communities. And, as open data becomes a two-way conversation, new types of derivative activities will be enabled, such as the development of government performance metrics, open budgeting, and organized citizen-contributions to government projects. The result is that open data will become a platform for an improved democracy, instead of just a website to publish files and datasets.”

Kalin is the co-author of several publications on open data, including: “Open Government Data Spurs Entrepreneurship and Jobs,” “The Next GPS of Data,” and “A Fleet of Data in U.S. Vehicles.”

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Studies from Georgetown University in International Politics, as well as a Masters of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. In addition, he has received a Robert Seamans Fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for leadership of technology and public policy.

About Socrata

Socrata is the cloud software company focused exclusively on democratizing access to data in government. We help government leaders improve transparency, modernize citizen and developer access to information, and bring facts into every decision, with unprecedented speed and cost savings.

Delivered as turnkey cloud services, Socrata’s data consumerization products unlock data in enterprise silos and transform it into useful information that everyone can easily access, visualize, share and reuse. Innovators like the World Bank, Medicare, Data.gov, EnergyStar, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Oregon, Montgomery County, and Maryland have all chosen Socrata as the data sharing platform for their open innovation initiatives. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com or follow us on Twitter @socrata.

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