Project Leads

Stefaan Verhulst


Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory @NYU (GovLab) where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology. Verhulst’s latest scholarship centers on how technology can improve people’s lives and the creation of more effective and collaborative forms of governance. Specifically, he is interested in the perils and promise of collaborative technologies and how to harness the unprecedented volume of information to advance the public good.

Andrew Young


Andrew Young is the Knowledge Director at The GovLab, where he leads research efforts focusing on the impact of technology on public institutions. Among the grant-funded projects he has directed are a global assessment of the impact of open government data; comparative benchmarking of government innovation efforts against those of other countries; and crafting the experimental design for testing the adoption of technology innovations in federal agencies.

Natalia Adler

UNICEF Data Collaboratives Lead

As a ‘development entrepreneur,’ Natalia Adler has been looking for ways to “do development differently” for the past 11 years. She’s currently serving as the Data, Research and Policy Planning Specialist at UNICEF HQ, where she’s trying to leverage data science to solve complex problems affecting children through data collaboratives with the private sector and academia. She has recently supported UNICEF’s regional office in Latin America to develop a "Cities for Children" initiative, looking at the intersection of urbanization, climate change and child rights in Latin America. In Nicaragua, she pioneered design thinking to support the development of Regional Policies for Children and partnered with the private sector to create 'entrepreneurial ecosystems.' In Mozambique, she broadened the intersection of child rights and Public Finance Management. A natural of Brazil, Natalia opened her own business at the age of 14.

Project Development

Mark Adkins-Hastings


Mark Adkins-Hastings is a software developer with diverse expertise in both technology and design. He joins GovLab's development and design team to build civic technologies that help institutions work more openly and collaboratively. Previously, Mark worked on citizen-centric technology projects for the United States federal government, including the Department of Justice and the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). At USTPO, he developed the Office's electronic patent application filing system as part of a team promoting the adoption of more agile and modern design practices, including the use of citizen ethnography to ensure that government websites serve the public better.

Claudio Mendonca

Creative Director

Claudio Mendonca is the Creative Director at the GovLab where he is responsible for branding and interaction design of the digital projects. Working as a visual communicator for more than 10 years, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design in 2005. He has extensive experience in branding and interaction design, including 3 years developing graphical material for several government institutions in Brazil, publications and interface design for startups.

Project Support

Hannah Pierce

Research Assistant

Hannah is a Research Assistant at the GovLab. She is an interdisciplinary strategist who works across art, design and social science on projects designed to foster more dynamic, equitable, and civically engaged cities. Currently, she works on GovLab projects focused on the use of data, especially open data and public-private data partnerships, for social good. Before joining the research team, she designed the curriculum and taught the GovLab's Open Data Summer Camp. A collaboration with the USDA, the Camp taught data science to 7-12th graders. Hannah has previously collaborated in the design of a platform to inform and engage New York City residents on the issue of rezoning. Hannah is a graduate of Parsons The New School for Design, where she earned a BBA in Strategic Design Management.


The site reflects the accumulation of all the insights and input we received from many over the last few years for which we are grateful. In particular, we would like to thank:

  • Anoush Rima (née Tatevossian), John Crowley, Mila Romanoff and Robert Kirkpatrick, UN Global Pulse
  • Manuel Garcia Herranz, UNICEF
  • Alex Rutherford, UNICEF
  • Ciro Cattu, ISI Foundation
  • Michele Tizzoni, ISI Foundation
  • Daniela Paolotti, ISI Foundation
  • Matt Stempeck and John Paul Farmer, Microsoft
  • Jos Berens, Ulrich Mans and Gideon Shimson, University of Leiden, The Hague
  • Sarah Telford, Mark Dalton and Lilian Barajas, UNOCHA
  • William Hoffman, World Economic Forum
  • Neil Britto, InterSector Project
  • Beth Simone Noveck, The GovLab
  • Iryna Susha, Örebro University
  • The members and partners of the International Responsible Data Group
  • The members of the MacArthur Research Network of Opening Governance