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Director, Burnes Center for Social Change; Professor

Beth Simone Noveck is a professor at Northeastern University, where she directs the Burnes Center for Social Change and its partner project, The GovLab. She is faculty at the Institute for Experiential AISchool of Law, and in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the College of Arts, Design, and Media, the College of Engineering, and affiliated faculty at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. 

At Northeastern, Beth directs AI for Impact, and its InnovateMA co-op program in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Through AI for Impact, students use artificial intelligence and human-centered design to deliver cutting-edge projects that solve public sector problems and improve lives.

Beth’s work focuses on using AI to reimagine participatory democracy and strengthen governance, and she has spent her career helping institutions incorporate more equitable and open ways of working using new technology. Together with Citizens Foundation, she is designing and building AI-enabled tools to enhance collective intelligence and participatory problem solving. She blogs about AI, democracy and governance at Reboot Democracy.

In 2024, Governor Murphy appointed her as Chief AI Strategist for the State of New Jersey. Previously, she served as the State’s founding Chief Innovation Officer. In that role, Beth and her team used new technology to improve equitable government delivery of services. The Office of Innovation  worked with partner agencies to modernize unemployment insurance, provide a whole-of-government response to COVID, collect real-time infection data, deliver everything needed to start, run and grow a business, and use open data to provide training information to job seekers and improve uptake of benefits, services and permits. She also served as Chair of the State’s Future of Work Task Force.

Previously, Beth served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer under President Obama. She founded the White House Open Government Initiative, which worked across government to create policies and platforms, such as data.gov and challenge.gov, for making the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. She previously served on theLibrary of Congress Kluge Scholars Council and the Global Commission on Internet Governance.

She served as senior advisor for Open Government for UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and between 2018-2021, she served on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Digital Council. Among her many early civic technology projects, she created Unchat, one of the first online platforms for democratic engagement, and Peer-to-Patent to connect scientists to policymakers to improve the patent process. Two decades before the Metaverse, she designed Democracy Island in Second Life and later such projects as OrgPedia to foster corporate transparency or Ask A Scientist to crowdsource answers to COVID questions in collaboration with Federation of American Scientists and other uses of civic tech to deliver better government services. She also founded and hosted the State of Play conferences on law, games and virtual worlds.

In addition to her current course on AI for Impact, Beth is the founder of open, online courses such as Solving Public Problems for social innovators in over 100 countries, Open Justice for legal innovators, and InnovateUS for public sector professionals. InnovateUS delivers free, philanthropically-funded training in AI, innovation and problem-solving skills designed to help improve how public professionals make policy and delivery services.

The author of three earlier books, including Solving Public Problems: How to Fix Our Government and Change Our World (Yale Press 2021) (named a Best Book of 2021 by Stanford Social Innovation Review), Beth’s newest book is Democracy Rebooted: How AI Can Save Democracy.

She was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100” by Foreign Policy, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, a “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post, and one of the World’s 100 Most Influential Academics in Government by Apolitical. She was awarded the doctorat honoris causa from the University of Geneva in October 2023.

You can find her latest TEDx talk here.

Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    Yale Law School, JD, Law
    Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck, PhD, Political Science and German Studies
    University of Oxford, Political Science
    Harvard University, AB, Social Studies and AM, Comparative Literature

  • Contact

Beth Simone’s Colleagues

Max Abrahms

Associate Professor of Political Science

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Amílcar Antonio Barreto

Professor & Chair, Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies; Professor & Interim Director, International Affairs; Professor, Political Science; Affiliated faculty member of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies; Affiliated faculty member in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

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Barry Bluestone

Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor Emeritus of Political Economy; Founding Director of the Dukakis Center; Founding Dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Christopher Bosso

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

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Alan Clayton-Matthews

Associate Professor Emeritus of Economics and Public Policy

William Dickens

University Distinguished Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Joan Fitzgerald

Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Stephen E. Flynn

Professor of Political Science; Founding Director, Global Resilience Institute

James Alan Fox

Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy

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Brian Helmuth

Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy

Timothy Hoff

Professor of Management, Healthcare Systems and Public Policy

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In Memoriam William Kay

Associate Professor of Political Science

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David Lazer

University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer Sciences

Headshot of Dietmar Offenhuber

Dietmar Offenhuber

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Art + Design

Headshot of Kwamina Panford

Kwamina Panford

Emeritus Associate Professor of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies