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Alexander Howard
Worked at The Huffington Post
Attended Colby College
Lives in The District of Columbia, USA
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Alexander Howard

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If you were watching local television in DC last night, you might have seen me on air talking about Freedom of Information Act reform on Government Matters. If you were doing other things with your Friday evening, you can watch the segment online, at the link below: http://govmatters.tv/the-foia-improvement-act-and-federal-agencies/
Sunlight Foundation senior analyst Alex Howard offered insight on how the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 will impact federal agencies.
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Alexander Howard
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open government  - 
 
The Freedom of Information Act as occupied quite a bit of my first four months at Sunlight. No change today.
http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/21/today-in-opengov-foia-delays-denials-dismissals-head-to-committee/
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Alexander Howard

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If you'd like to receive these in your email inbox, just subscribe here: http://sunlightfoundation.us5.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=d5304df77590e80121f8e02ec&id=8aaf01d6dd
 
Today in #OpenGov: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/20/today-in-opengov-analyzing-the-state-of-cities-bulk-data/ Analyzing the state of cities' open data, more features on the FEC's beta website, a table from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and much more.
[FIGURE: Comparing U.S cities' population size and bulk data access] STATE OF THE STATES: Sunlight's Richard Yarrow dug into the U.S. Open Data Census and came up with an insight: open data indicators frequently are correlated with the population of a municipality.
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Alexander Howard

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Today in #OpenGov: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/18/today-in-opengov-google-makes-it-easier-than-ever-to-register-to-vote/ Google​ makes it easier to register online, transparency and the RNC, Congress.gov downtime reminds us of the importance of open data, and much more.
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open government  - 
 
Today in #OpenGov: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/18/today-in-opengov-google-makes-it-easier-than-ever-to-register-to-vote/ Google​ makes it easier to register online, transparency and the RNC, Congress.gov downtime reminds us of the importance of open data, and much more.
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The White House guidance on open government plans by the US CIO and US CTO asks the right questions for agencies to answer by September 16, 2016.. http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/15/white-house-advisory-on-open-government-asks-the-right-questions/

More than six years on from the Open Government Directive, the specificity of what “open government” means in the federal government in 2016 can been meaningfully explored through the prism of these questions.

Consider the topics that the guidance directs agencies to explore: Open data. Proactive disclosures. Privacy. Whistleblower protection. Websites. Open innovation methods. Access to scientific data and publications. Open source software. Spending information and the DATA Act. Participation in transparency initiatives. Public notice. Records management. Freedom of Information Act requests. Congressional requests. Declassification. Public participation and collaboration. A “Flagship Initiative” and /open webpages.

While the president’s pledge to run the “most transparent government in history” has proven to be both controversial and difficult to achieve, we expect to see an accounting result from this guidance that will not only inform about what has been done in their name but provide a foundation for continued efforts in the next administration.
The 2016 White House memorandum on open government plans. (Image credit: White House) On Thursday, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy published its long-awaited guidance for federal agencies to comply with President Barack Obama’s 2009 Open Government Directive. The ...
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The research that the CRS provides to Congress using taxpayers dollars is a valuable resource that would lead to a more informed public. We reject specious arguments that publishing these reports online would slow the information getting to members of Congress, and strongly urge the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to make the research open to all. http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/14/opening-congressional-research-service-reports-to-the-public-is-in-the-public-interest/
The main reading room inside the Library of Congress, which houses the Congressional Research Service. (Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol/Flickr) Today, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., reintroduced the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, a bipartisan bill that would make all reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) freely available ...
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open government  - 
 
Today in #OpenGov: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/20/today-in-opengov-analyzing-the-state-of-cities-bulk-data/ Analyzing the state of cities' open data, more features on the FEC's beta website, a table from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and much more.
[FIGURE: Comparing U.S cities' population size and bulk data access] STATE OF THE STATES: Sunlight's Richard Yarrow dug into the U.S. Open Data Census and came up with an insight: open data indicators frequently are correlated with the population of a municipality.
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Video of my conversation with U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Open Data Institute Director Gavin Thomas, and Chancellor Emeritus Brady Deaton of the University of Missouri is now online.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZnAeRhe9m4

The transcript of our discussion is here: http://www.worldfoodprize.org/documents/filelibrary/2016_bd_transcripts/Secretarys_Roundtable__Open_Data_fo_FEAD3C5047FED.pdf

Vilsack on how to lead public discourse about climate change: "I think first of all, it’s to listen carefully to the people who have concerns and then to be able to adjust your message to meet those concerns. So I’ll give you an example. If you go to some of the farmers in the Midwest and you start talking about climate
change, their immediate reaction may be to respond to what they perceive to be a political term. And that might be the end of the conversation. But if you talk about weather variability, that’s something farmers would love to talk to you about. So adopt the language so that you can have the conversation. Don’t necessarily force people into a political discussion. Listen to them, adopt the language that allows them to be open to the message, and now we have climate hubs that USDA is
funding, information that we’re providing about the vulnerability of particular regions of the country in terms of what’s grown, what’s raised, the forest issues as well. Now we’re coming up with a series of mechanisms and technologies and techniques to try to respond to that changing climate, and we’re seeing great
receptivity on the part of farmers and producers to that information. So I think sometimes it is how you communicate and whether or not you’re willing to adjust it just a bit to the audience that you’re speaking to."
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Alexander Howard
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open government  - 
 
The White House guidance on open government plans by the US CIO and US CTO asks the right questions for agencies to answer by September 16, 2016.. http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/15/white-house-advisory-on-open-government-asks-the-right-questions/

More than six years on from the Open Government Directive, the specificity of what “open government” means in the federal government in 2016 can been meaningfully explored through the prism of these questions.

Consider the topics that the guidance directs agencies to explore: Open data. Proactive disclosures. Privacy. Whistleblower protection. Websites. Open innovation methods. Access to scientific data and publications. Open source software. Spending information and the DATA Act. Participation in transparency initiatives. Public notice. Records management. Freedom of Information Act requests. Congressional requests. Declassification. Public participation and collaboration. A “Flagship Initiative” and /open webpages.

While the president’s pledge to run the “most transparent government in history” has proven to be both controversial and difficult to achieve, we expect to see an accounting result from this guidance that will not only inform about what has been done in their name but provide a foundation for continued efforts in the next administration.
The 2016 White House memorandum on open government plans. (Image credit: White House) On Thursday, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy published its long-awaited guidance for federal agencies to comply with President Barack Obama’s 2009 Open Government Directive. The ...
1
Add a comment...

Alexander Howard
owner

open government  - 
 
The research that the CRS provides to Congress using taxpayers dollars is a valuable resource that would lead to a more informed public. We reject specious arguments that publishing these reports online would slow the information getting to members of Congress, and strongly urge the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to make the research open to all. http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2016/07/14/opening-congressional-research-service-reports-to-the-public-is-in-the-public-interest/
The main reading room inside the Library of Congress, which houses the Congressional Research Service. (Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol/Flickr) Today, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., reintroduced the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, a bipartisan bill that would make all reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) freely available ...
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Education
  • Colby College
    1994 - 1998
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Male
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Xander
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Introduction

I'm a writer and editor, focused upon how shifts in technology are changing journalism, government and society.

From January 2014 to May 2015,  I contributed a weekly column to TechRepublic, a division of CBS Interactive. From August 2013 to May 2014, I was a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, where I collaborated on research and the past, present and future of data-driven journalism. In 2013, I was also a fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Innovation and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. From 2010 to 2013, I was the Washington Correspondent at O'Reilly Media, where I covered the voices, technologies and issues that are changing government, technology and society. Prior to joining O’Reilly, I was the associate editor of SearchCompliance.com and WhatIs.com at TechTarget, where I wrote about how the laws and regulations that affect information technology are changing, spanning the issues of online identity, data protection, risk management, electronic privacy and cybersecurity. 

Along with my correspondence for the O'Reilly Radar, I have contributed to the National Journal, Forbes, Slate, the Huffington Post, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, CBS News' What's Trending, Govloop, Governing People, the Association for Computer Manufacturing and the Atlantic, amongst others. I have appeared multiple times as an on-air analyst for Al Jazeera English and a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, along with commentary for NPR's All Things Considered and other public radio shows.

I've been a speaker and moderator at conferences in Washington and beyond, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Alfred University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), NIST, Club de Madrid, Cato Institute, the New America Foundation, the World Bank, the Social Security Agency, the U.S. National Archives, the Web 2.0 Summit and Expo, Gov 2.0 Summit and Expo, Social Media Week, DC Week, SXSWi, Strata, GOSCON, AMP Summit, Tech@State, CAR/IRE, and the State of the Net, the Open Government Partnership Annual Conference, In 2011, I was visiting faculty at the Poynter Institute.

I'm a native of upstate New York, where I was born on a farm in a county that had more deer than humans. At age 8, I moved to Philadelphia and spent a decade growing up in one of America's great cities, attending Germantown Friends School until 1994. I graduated from Colby College four years later, with a bachelor of arts degree in biology (and a minor in sociology), and then enjoyed living in New England for another decade in Boston, Somerville and Cambridge. 

I'd describe myself as a geeky outdoorsman, cyclist, angler and photographer. I'm an unabashed fan of great science fiction and fantasy books, movies and games. I currently live in Capitol Hill in the District of Columbia with my wife, daughter and a growing number of pots, pans and houseplants. When I'm not working or parenting, I enjoy exploring the great outdoors, ambitious cooking and good books. 

You can find me online at E Pluribus Unum | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Linkedin | Wordpress | YouTube 

Bragging rights
I make a good crème brûlée.
Work
Occupation
Writer
Skills
Reading, writing and arithmetic.
Employment
  • The Huffington Post
    Senior Editor, Technology and Society, 2015 - 2016
  • TechRepublic, CBS Interactive
    Columnist, 2014 - 2015
  • Columbia University
    Fellow, 2013 - 2014
    Collaborated on research into data-driven journalism at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School.
  • Harvard University
    Research Fellow, 2013 - 2013
    Collaborated on research at the Transparency Policy Project of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
  • O'Reilly Media
    Washington Correspondent, 2010 - 2013
  • TechTarget
    Associate Editor, present
  • Bain & Company
    Knowledge Broker, present
  • Sapient
    Operations Support, present
  • Whirling Dervish Design
    Web Designer, present
  • Charles Hajdu Builders
    Apprentice Carpenter, present
  • Beaver Country Day School
    Teacher, Tennis Coach, present
  • Delfino
    Garde Mangier, present
  • Star Island Company
    Clerk, Waiter, present
  • Sunlight Foundation
    Senior Analyst, 2016 - present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
The District of Columbia, USA
Previously
Cambridge, MA - Washington, DC - Born in upstate NY, raised in Philly. - Bar Harbor, Maine - Boston, MA - Somerville, MA - Baltimore, MD - Star Island, NH
Alexander Howard's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The Navy's New Robot Looks and Swims Just Like a Shark | WIRED
www.wired.com

The Navy’s new underwater drone is designed to look and swim like a real fish.

The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed...
www.wired.com

Inside the soul-crushing world of content moderation, where low-wage laborers soak up the worst of humanity, and keep it off your Facebook f

Federal Agencies Are Flooded by Comments on New Rules
online.wsj.com

Record numbers of online comments are flooding agencies at a time when Congress is stuck in gridlock and the Obama administration has turned

Daimler Acquires Uber Rival RideScout
online.wsj.com

Daimler is making a bet on the ride-sharing economy, a day after Germany slapped a country-wide ban on Uber Technologies.

The 'right to record' is not a question of technology, but rather power ...
www.techrepublic.com

The "right to record" will gain even more attention as smartphones, wearables, and social media usage increases. Alex Howard believes this w

The Internet's Original Sin
www.theatlantic.com

It's not too late to ditch the ad-based business model we have and build the web we want.

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will | Business | WIRED
www.wired.com

Beneath its slick interface and crystal clear GPS-enabled vision of the world, Google Maps roils with local rivalries, score-settling, and d

YouTube Parody as Politics: How The World Made Pharrell Cry
www.theatlantic.com

Remixes from around the world show that what brings us together is more important than what divides us.

OpenID Connect may usher in a new era of federated online identity
www.techrepublic.com

OpenID Connect is designed to replace username/password authentication. The protocol, in use by Google and others, may solve governments' ne

Supreme Court to rule on warrantless searches of electronic devices
arstechnica.com

Cops want access, without warrants, to electronic devices of everybody arrested.

Data journalism only matters when it's transparent
www.motherjones.com

Data journalism only matters when it's transparent.

Publishers Can Afford Data Journalism, Says ProPublica's Scott Klein
mediagazer.com

This story, by Alexander Howard / Tow Center …, appeared on Mediagazer.

Earth Day Pioneer Denis Hayes’ New Challenge: Greenest Commercial Buildi...
energyblog.nationalgeographic.com

Forty-four years ago today, Denis Hayes convened the very first Earth Day, an event that drew millions to events across the United States an

Did CIA Violate the Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause? - Secrecy News
blogs.fas.org

The Central Intelligence Agency may have violated the Speech or Debate clause of the U.S. Constitution by performing an unauthorized search

Extremely critical crypto flaw in iOS may also affect fully patched Macs
arstechnica.com

Coding blunder that exposed sensitive data may still be putting users at risk.