Director Named to Big Data Commission

The Institute’s director, Dr. Michael Rappa, has been named Academic Co-chair of a newly convened Big Data Commission by the technology industry trade group TechAmerica Foundation in Washington DC. The Commission has been tasked with making recommendations on how to handle the mountains of data that are being generated by various agencies of the federal government. The Administration has recently turned its attention to the topic, announcing a $200 Million Big Data Research and Development Initiative. The 27-member Commission is chaired by Steve Mills, Senior Vice President and Group Executive, Software and Systems, IBM Corporation and Steve Lucas, Global Executive Vice President and General Manager, SAP Database and Technology.

Commenting on his appointment to the Commission, Dr. Rappa stated:

“Enhancing our ability to leverage big data will drive greater efficiency and productivity across the U.S. government. Big data analytics is an imperative for virtually every federal agency, from health and human services to defense and homeland security. Having the requisite talent is critical. Universities must do their part to step-up and address the acute shortage of data scientists. The Commission’s work is important and timely and I am delighted to participate.”

Dr. Rappa has 25 years of experience as a professor working across academic disciplines at the intersection of management and computing. An accomplished researcher and instructor, his passion is to bring an entrepreneurial and forward-thinking mindset to innovation in higher learning. His current role, as founding director of the Institute and principal architect of its pioneering Master of Science in Analytics, is to prepare a new generation of data-savvy professionals for leadership in a digital world.

Joining Dr. Rappa as Academic Co-Chair will be Dr. Leo Irakliotis, Dean and National Director for the College of Information Technology at Western Governors University. Vice chairs of the commission are Teresa Carlson, Vice president Global Public Sector, Amazon Web Services and Bill Perlowitz, Chief Technology Officer, Science, Technology and Engineering Group, Wyle.

TechAmerica Foundation educates industry executives, policy makers and opinion leaders on the promise of technological innovation to advance prosperity, security and the general welfare. Launched in 1981, the Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan affiliate of TechAmerica, the leading voice and resource for the U.S. technology industry representing over 1,200 companies. The Foundation disseminates award-winning industry, policy and market research covering topics such as U.S. competitiveness in a global economy, innovation in government, and other areas of national interest.

See the Commission’s Final Report.