Kat Townsend is a passionate advocate for information equity and has devoted her career to government transparency, collaboration across global partners, and improving technical capacity in the social sector. Kat supports diverse organizations for social entrepreneurship, capacity building, and equitable access. She originally joined the Foundation in late 2021 as its Interim Policy Director.
As Executive Director of Open Data Collaboratives, Kat has worked on data-driven prioritization of delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in LMICs for UK FCDO, strategic development of civic tech for social accountability for the World Bank, and data transparency and civic engagement with governments and civil society in Middle East and Africa. She previously served as COO of data.org with a mission to build the field of data science for social impact. Kat served in the U.S. Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under President Obama’s innovation and transparency initiative, building technology and collaboration in US foreign policy and with a team of civil servants standing up USAID’s first and sustained open data policy.
She is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School and Georgetown University and resides in New York where she can often be found bicycling around neighborhoods.