Alexander B. Howard, the primary author and founder of this site, is the Director of the Digital Democracy Project at the Demand Progress Educational Fund, a nonprofit focused on improving democratic governance through smart use of technology.
In 2019, he:
- Worked as a contractor for the Stand Up Republic Foundation on its Defusing Disinformation Project
- Conducted research on governance and tech policy for the German Marshall Fund’s Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative
- Acted as an expert witness on open government for the State of New York
- Participated in the fifth International Open Data Conference in Buenos Aires, at the invitation of the Government of Argentina, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank
In 2018, Howard was paid to contribute to MIT TechReview, Federal Computer Week, and Medium, and for a talk on the future of access to information at the World Bank.
In September 2018, Howard accepted an invitation to write about and participate in the fifth International Open Data Conference in Buenos Aires. The Inter-American Development Bank paid for his lodging and airfare, along with an honorarium for writing about the event and interviewing participants.
He has also received travel bursaries to moderate or speak in events hosted by Google, the National Democratic Institute, Code for America, the Red Cross, the International Research and Development Centre (IDRC), the Open Government Parnership, and the World Bank.
Over the years, Howard has received honoraria for keynote talks, on-air analysis and event moderation from a variety of entities, including Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera America, The Creative Group, the Open Identity Foundation, the Brookings Institute, the CNA Corporation, West Point, Results 4 Development Institute, the World Bank, and the Poynter Institute.
Beginning in the spring of 2016, Howard was a senior analyst at the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit in DC that advocates for open government. From December 2016 to April 2018, he was its deputy director, founding and leading various projects, including acting as transparency watchdog, to tracking Trump’s conflicts of interest and reporting on the ongoing corruption of the presidency, to the Web Integrity Project.
While at Sunlight, he helped draft the Honest Ads Act with the Senate, which would make online political ads transparent, and provided education and policy recommendations to the Senate and House of Representatives, along with advocating for reforms to Congress itself, along with the judicial branch. During his tenure, Howard spoke with politicians, regulators, civil servants, activists, advocates, watchdogs, journalists and government officials around the world about Sunlight’s policy agenda for open governance, from the Paris to Silicon Valley.
He also moderated a conference on artificial intelligence at the International Monetary Fund, which then donated to Sunlight Foundation. He spoke at a conference on anti-corruption and money in politics in Brussels, with support from Transparency International
Prior to joining the Sunlight Foundation, Howard was a paid contributor to TechPresident and TechRepublic, among many other media outlets listed in the “About” page.
In 2012, 2013 and 2015, the Secretariat for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) provided Howard a travel bursary for airfare and lodging in London, enabling him to attend the annual summit as a member of U.S. civil society, Brasilia, where he moderated a panel at the organization’s first annual conference, and Mexico City, where he moderated panels on subnational governance and civic technology.
In the spring of 2015, Howard consulted for the Science and Technology Policy Institute, researching practices in innovative governance. He did not receive compensation for this work.
In January 2015, Howard traveled to Hyderabad, India, to act as a trainer in a 3-day blogging workshop convened by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). The trip was funded by a grant to ICFJ from the United States Consulate in Hyderabad.
In October 2014, he accepted an invitation by Abraji, a nonprofit focused on investigative journalism, to travel to Brazil and speak about his research on data journalism. The trip were funded by a grant to Abraji from the United States Consulate General in São Paulo.
Howard also accepted an invitation by La Nacion to speak at the Datafest in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This trip was similarly funded by a grant from the United States Consulate General in Buenos Aires.
In the fall of 2014, Howard accepted two consulting assignments: one with Deloitte Public Sector Research, providing independent editorial review of a research agenda on digital government trends, and the other with the National Democratic Institute, to conduct interviews and research regarding open government, digital governance, and democracy.
In 2013 and 2014, he received funding for research fellowships from the Ash Center for Democratic Innovation and Governance at Harvard University and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
Howard was a member of the Government of Canada’s independent advisory panel on open government from 2012-2015, an unpaid role that involved him giving independent, critical feedback on Canada’s open government action plan and policies in virtual meetings.