Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

Diving Into Data - Panelist Bios

Facebook processes over 500 terabytes of data each day. More than a half billion tweets are sent daily. And so the volume of data grows. Much of this data is superfluous and is of little value to foreign policy and development experts. But a portion does contain significant information and the challenge is how to find and make use of that data. What will a rigorous economic analysis of this data reveal and how could the findings be effectively applied? Looking beyond real-time awareness and some of the other well know uses of big data, this panel will explore how a more thorough in-depth analysis of big data could prove useful in providing insights and trends that could be applied in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy.


Michael Liebow (@mliebow) - Foretuit

Michael Liebow is a Franklin Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, and Founder/Chairman of Foretuit, a new 'big data' venture he recently launched in the startup battlefield at TechCrunch DISRUPT and partnered with A high tech visionary and business operator, Michael spends his days as Global Managing Director for the Accenture Cloud Platform, a secure, scalable, enterprise-ready cloud integration system that provides management and control over hybrid cloud services where he drives a significant chunk of Accenture's $400 million cloud investment, and manages a myriad of ecosystem partners, and a 400 person global team to build and operate a new multi-billion dollar platform business for the global 2000.

Prior experience also includes an entrepreneur in residence at New Enterprise Associates, a leading global venture capital firm, where he joined a portfolio company, NewScale, as board member, repositioned as a private cloud computing company, and sold to Cisco. As CEO of Dexterra, an early innovator in business mobility applications, he merged company with Jersey City-based Antenna Software to create an undisputed global leader. Prior to that, Liebow spent 10 years at IBM where he led Business Development for Global Services and started the SOA-based IT infrastructure business which he grew to well over $4 billion in revenue in 4 years and created new asset-based solutions supported by 90,000 trained consultants worldwide. He also led Strategy and Market Management for IBM's x86 Server hardware business which he transformed from a $900 million industry laggard to a $3 billion industry leader in 3 years.



Michael Hsieh - DARPA

Dr. Michael Hsieh joined DARPA as a program manager in January 2013. His focus is on developing quantitative models of economic and social phenomena to improve situational awareness of global events with national security significance.

Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Hsieh worked in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance division of SAIC and in the Global Defense team at Booz Allen Hamilton. Previously, he held postdoctoral positions at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, CA and the Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology at USC.

Dr. Hsieh earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry (2008) at Princeton University and his B.A. in Mathematics and Economics (2001) from the University of California, Berkeley.


Emmanuel Letouzé (@Data4Dev)

Emmanuel Letouzé is a regular consultant for the UN and the OECD and a PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley, with interests in Big Data for development, fragile states and conflict, fiscal policy, and demography. He is currently serving as an Nonresident Fellow at the International Peace Institute, an advisor on Big Data and official statistics for the OECD-Paris21 initiative, and lead author of the 2013 OECD Fragile States Update on domestic resource mobilization. His recent assignments include lead author of a paper on Big Data for Conflict Prevention for a IPI-USIP-USAID project, lead author of the OECD 2012 Fragile States report and author of UN Global Pulse’s 2012 white paper "Big Data for Development: Challenges & Opportunities", where he worked as a senior development economist. He is a regular contributor to IPI’s Global Observatory and to Bruegel's blog. From 2006 to 2009 he worked at UNDP in New York, as a member of the 2009 Human Development Report research team (Migration report), a policy specialist on post-conflict economic recovery and a public finance economist. From 2000 to 2004 he worked in Hanoi, Vietnam, as a technical assistant in public finance and statistics for the French Ministry of Finance. He is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris (Diplôme, 1999, MA in Economic Demography, 2000) and Columbia University (MA in International Affairs, 2006), where he was a Fulbright fellow. At Berkeley, his doctoral dissertation focuses on the use of CDRs (call detail records) and Twitter data to study demo-economic dynamics including migration and poverty in developing countries (Côte d'Ivoire and Egypt primarily), with a focus on validation methods. He is also a political cartoonist for various media outlet.



Philippe Loustaunau - IARPA

Philippe Loustaunau is currently the Managing Partner of Vista Consulting LLC, a small science and technology consulting firm that advises its clients on investments into and applications of science and technology innovations.  Prior to founding Vista Consulting, Philippe Loustaunau held multiple executive positions in National Security companies. He has a Ph.D. in Mathematics and started his career as a tenured research professor of mathematics at George Mason University. 



Cathy O'Neil (@mathbabedotorg) - Johnson Research Labs

Cathy O’Neil earned a PhD in math from Harvard, was postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She is co-authoring a book (with Rachel Schutt) called Doing Data Science to be published by O’Reilly in Spring 2013. She previously worked as a quant for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. For the last couple years she’s been a data scientist in the New York start-up scene. She writes a blog at and is involved with the #Occupy Wall Street Alternative Banking Working Group.

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