Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

How Did It Go? Telling the Story of an Election with Data and Maps - Panelist Bios & Photos

How Did It Go? Telling the Story of an Election with Data and Maps


Chris Spence (Moderator) - National Democratic Institute

As NDI’s chief technology officer, Chris Spence has led technology initiatives for the Institute around the world and helped NDI become recognized as a leader in the application of technology to the unique and evolving challenges of democratic governance. He has helped a large number of governments, legislatures, election monitoring groups and civil society organizations, political parties and citizens in developing countries and emerging democracies embrace technology to advance their goals.

Since joining NDI in 1996, Mr. Spence has built and managed an information and communications technology (ICT) team that has worked in dozens of countries, providing innovative strategies and technical assistance to hundreds of groups, often employing a wide variety of online tools, mobile phones and software applications. Over the years the team has introduced several innovations to the field. Recent examples include the first uses of SMS for data collection in election monitoring; sophisticated election results reporting using multiple data sets, maps and other engaging visualizations; and defining early “open data” best practices for sharing election results.

Mr. Spence also sets strategy and manages the technology that runs NDI’s global field operation in 70 countries and the Institute’s home office in Washington, D.C. Under his leadership, NDI has successfully embraced technology for business operations and communications as it grew to more than 1,200 staff members. At the Washington headquarters, Mr. Spence has managed the evolution from a few in-house systems to cloud computing in an increasingly challenging security environment.


Rob Baker - Ushahidi

Rob Baker is the Project & Outreach Manager for Ushahidi, responsible for custom applications and developing logistic strategies with clients. He is a member of the Trusted Developer Network for his work as technical or project lead on dozens of Ushahidi deployments since Haiti and was Director of the Universities for Ushahidi program, a 2011 initiative to train students from around the world on mobile and mapping technology. When he's not working on Ushahidi projects, Rob is also a member of theHumanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and writes and develops mobile-ready textbooks.


Alex Barth - Development Seed

Alex is an open data expert with years of practice in developing and implementing open data strategies and solutions on behalf of multinational organizations like the United Nations and World Bank. At MapBox, he leads the data team to raise the availability and quality of freely accessible open data.

Allen Carroll - Esri

Allen Carroll is Program Manager, ArcGIS Online Content at Esri. He leads a team that regularly publishes map-based stories and narratives (, and that develops innovative ways to utilize maps and geographic information systems as storytelling platforms. In addition, he helps guide strategy for organizing Esri’s online content and for serving its global user communities.

Allen came to Esri after 27 years at the National Geographic Society. As chief cartographer at NGS, he was deeply involved in the creation of the Society’s renowned reference and wall maps, globes, and atlases. He led the creation of the Seventh and Eighth editions of the World Atlas, incorporating satellite imagery and innovative thematic maps into the editions and integrating them for the first time with interactive Web resources. He has spearheaded the publication of many new maps and Web resources, ranging from decorative wall maps and supplement maps for National Geographic magazine to special projects featuring biodiversity, conservation, and indigenous cultures. He has served as a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee.


Juan Manuel Casanueva - CitiVox

Juan Manuel is a researcher and social innovator in ICT4Change projects. He is the co-founder of SocialTIC, an NGO that empowers citizens, NGOs and governments on ICT-based tactics and solutions for transparency, advocacy and citizen participation. He is CitiVox's advisor on citizen engagement and promoter of Tactical Technology Collective's infoactivism program in Latin America. Juan Manuel has lead citizen observation projects and ICT consulting for elections in Yemen, Guatemala, Nicaraga, Mexico, Venezuela and Ukraine.

Juan Manuel has a M.C. degree in Management and Implementation of Development Projects form The University of Manchester and a B.S. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Estado de México. He has 15 years of experience in civil society sector in Mexico participating in development, education, environmental and ICT4D projects. In the private sector he was a consultant for Accenture in corporate strategy, operations and ICT program management.

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