White House Appoints First-Ever Chief Data Scientist


The White House announced the appointment of the first U.S. Chief Data Scientist on Wednesday. The new position will be held by Dr. DJ Patil, an experienced data scientist and engineer. Patil worked to create Silicon Valley’s first data science team at the social media company LinkedIn. Patil will report to U.S. Chief Technology Officer and former Google executive Megan Smith.

Patil’s appointment as Chief Data Scientist comes in the wake of a recent White House focus on big-data and cybersecurity. In a recent address at the Cybersecurity Summit held at Stanford University, President Obama stressed the importance of cybersecurity to the U.S. defense and economy. The President also touched on subjects like the Sony Pictures hacking attack – pointing to the need for a more focused effort on data protection.

According to a White House blog post, “President Obama has prioritized bringing top technical talent like DJ into the federal government to harness the power of technology and innovation to help government better serve the American people.” In his position as Chief Data Scientist, Patil will work with the White House CTO team and work to further the Administration’s open data and data science goals.


Courtney James is AINS’ Marketing & Graphic Design Associate. She has experience with social media, public relations, graphic design, event management, and many other marketing topics. Courtney loves to blog about topics dealing with technology in government, social media, and case management. She holds degrees in Communication and Art from the University of Maryland, College Park.