Brett Goldstein

Senior Fellow

Brett Goldstein serves as the inaugural recipient of the Fellowship in Urban Science at the Chicago Harris. His two-year fellowship began on July 1, 2013. Chicago Harris, with generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, established the Fellowship in Urban Science as a way to connect scholars and students with policy practitioners who have experience and expertise leveraging data and information technology to address public policy issues.

As the inaugural Fellow in Urban Science, Goldstein is advising Chicago Harris on the new Master of Science program in Computational Analysis and Public Policy offered jointly with the Department for Computer Science. Goldstein works with the Computation Institute's Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD) and serves as a liaison to other major universities that are beginning to do research and teaching in urban science, greatly broadening the reach and impact of the activities at Chicago Harris. In addition, he will help convene the Urban Technologies Forum, a new initiative organized by Chicago Harris and the City of Chicago that seeks to create a peer-learning network for municipal technology innovators.

Goldstein’s current research is centered around using data to inform smarter government decision-making. This includes leading the development of a collaborative, open-source geospatial data portal at UrbanCCD to help researchers, developers, and ordinary citizens access open datasets held by government entities, academic institutions, and corporations. At the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, a collaboration between Harris and the Computation Institute, Goldstein serves as PI for research projects investigating the relationship between crime and the environment, including weather, infrastructure, and transportation. These projects are early explorations into the potential of using open data and open-source tools in the urban space to yield meaningful insights and develop predictive analytics.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Goldstein to be the first municipal Chief Data Officer in 2011. In this role, he led successful efforts to use data to improve the way city government serves its residents and established one of the largest open data programs in the country. In 2012, Goldstein also assumed the role of Chief Information Officer for the City of Chicago, where he worked to accelerate Chicago’s growth as a global hub of innovation and technology, adopting modern technology to save taxpayer funds, creating a robust collaboration with Chicago’s developer community and integrating data analytics into everyday government operations. Goldstein began his career in the start-up sector, spending 7 years at OpenTable.

Goldstein earned his Master’s degree in computer science from the University of Chicago. He also holds a Bachelor's degree from Connecticut College and a Master’s degree in criminal justice from Suffolk University. He is pursuing his PhD in Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He resides in Chicago with his wife and three children.