Through my consulting firm, New Amsterdam Ideas, I am working on a range of projects that aim to connect open-source and open government efforts across multiple political geographies, accelerate public access to government data, and increase operational efficiency within government.   As in my former life as a public official, the mantra remains “transparency, efficiency, participation.”

I have also served on the Advisory Boards of Piston Cloud ComputingCivicCommons, the New Organizing Institute, and the Participatory Politics Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of YenzaOpen Plans, and Global Integrity.

From January 2009 – January 2011, I served as the first ever Chief Information Officer for the New York State Senate, executing a mission to dramatically improve government transparency, citizen participation, and operational efficiency for the Senate through technology.  The CIO’s Office works in three main realms: opening up the Senate’s legislative and administrative data for public access (for transparency), overhauling the Senate’s internal communications and collaboration infrastructure (for efficiency), and launching new Web 2.0 / social media technologies for the Senate (public participation).  The new NYSenate.gov website, launched in May, has been heralded as a leading example of the use of “Web 2.0” technologies by a legislature, inviting citizens to become creators of content on the site as well as consumers of content, and including interactive websites for every Senator and every Committee of the Senate.   I was also elected by my peers to serve on the New York State CIO Leadership Council, was selected by GovTech as the 2010 New York State Public Sector CIO of the Year, and named to the “Government CIO 50” by Information Week.

I frequently present about open government, open-source, and community process at events and venues such as the Personal Democracy Forum, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, PSFK, Drupalcon, and O’Reilly’s Gov 2.0 Expo.

Previously, I co-founded and helped to manage the NASA CoLab at NASA Ames Research Center, which aims to increase efficiency and transparency at NASA by building new partnerships between NASA and external communities of practice such as the entrepreneurial technology community, the global open-source software movement, and constituents in the virtual world of “Second Life.” CoLab was extensively covered in the media by CNET, WIRED, MSNBC, Seed Magazine, the BBC, Federal Computing Week, and many other outlets.

As an entrepreneur, I co-founded and directed business development for GoodStorm (now Zazzle), a progressive eCommerce venture that helps organizations raise money to support themselves, Trellon, a leading open-source software consulting firm for online community building, and Moonfront, an aerospace design consulting firm. I also directed business strategy for CivicSpace Labs, a developer of software and communities for online organizing and advocacy, and, as a consultant, executed marketing campaigns for leading technology startups such as mobile messaging provider Jaiku (now Google) and online geographic data provider N Space Labs. I have also served as an online strategy consultant to leading technology-driven non-profit organizations such as the Craigslist Foundation, represented the Space Generation Advisory Council at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) in New York, and served on the Australian’s government’s International Reference Group for Government 2.0 strategy and the Boards of the Space Generation Foundation and Netroots Nation.

As a grassroots political organizer, in 2003, I founded the largest local group in the Draft Clark movement, New York for Clark, and later joined the Wesley Clark for President campaign staff to help manage the campaign’s voter data and the nation’s first open-source campaign software volunteer program. I also co-created the “RootsCamp” political meeting series in Second Life in 2006, and the Yearly Kos “virtual convention” in Second Life in 2007.

I’m a graduate of the NASA Academy and the International Space University, and hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown University, magna cum laude with honors, and Berkeley, in Planetary Sciences and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, respectively.

En Español

23 thoughts on “About

  1. Carl McCarthy says:

    Andrew, I just googled you and found this. Most impressive! I am looking forward to be of assistance to Yenza. All the best.

  2. Dear Andrew

    1105 Government Information Group – the premiere information provider in the government IT space and publishers of Federal Computer Week, Government Computer News, Washington Technology and Defense Systems – would like to cordially invite you to present at Government Leadership Summit (formerly CIO Summit) – June 1-3, 2008 in Williamsburg, VA. This year’s 15th annual thought leadership event will focus on “Change Leadership 2.0: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies in Government.” I’ve included a few highlights below:

    -Session Title: Web 2.0 Collaboration – The Road to the White House
    -Session Description: The first nationally televised presidential debate in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy changed the outcome of the race and the landscape of American politics. The Internet and Web 2.0 technologies have led to another major turning point equal to importance of television on the presidential race. Web 2.0 technologies now allow voters to engage in an ongoing dialogue via wikis, blogs and social networking sites that takes place before, during and after debates. Barack Obama is just one example of this year’s candidates taking advantage of this mass collaboration technology through his campaign’s online social network. This session will bring together thought leaders in technology and grassroots campaigning to discuss the effects of Web 2.0 campaigning strategy and the candidates leading the Web 2.0 polls.
    -Session Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2008
    -Session Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    -Other invited speakers: Cyrus Krohn, Republican National Committee’s e-Campaign; Teresa Vilmain, Democratic Campaign Manager;
    Top level IT decision-makers from across Federal, State, Local government – has also included international CIOs in the past
    -100-125 attendees including 70 public sector CXOs allows for more meaningful interaction among government and industry executives
    -Faculty includes thought leaders from industry, academia, government

    FCW and GCN would love to have your participation and expertise as a grassroots political organizer and co-creater of the “RootsCamp” political meeting series in Second Life. Please confirm your interest and availability via email at james@connellyworks.com or via phone at 703-742-7187. Let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.


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  4. Hi Andrew,

    As you set your calendar for the Netroots Nation Convention in Austin this weekend, be sure to circle FRIDAY, 3PM Rm. 16 for….


    What happens to the 705 people of Crawford, Texas when George W. Bush moves to town?

    WATCH THE TRAILER at http://www.crawfordmovie.com (or catch it on YouTube)

    Since its SxSW premiere, CRAWFORD has sold out festivals across the country; it has been praised in VARIETY, Texas Monthly, Film Threat, Politico.com and Premiere, lauded by Jake Gyllenhaal and Richard Linklater and linked to by the NYT’s Frank Rich. Last month, its premiere in the town of Crawford, Texas garnered two national AP stories; on the same night it won Brooklyn Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Documentary. On Friday, July 18 it will screen at Netroots Nation, with director David Modigliani in attendance for a Q and A. See it before it bucks the system with a progressive release.

    WATCH THE TRAILER at http://www.crawfordmovie.com (or catch it on YouTube)

    Netroots Nation Screening:
    Friday, July 18 @ 3pm
    Room 16


    “a poignant account…populated with colorful, contrasting characters.” – Joe Leydon, VARIETY

    “CRAWFORD received standing ovations at South by Southwest.” – Jeffrey Ressner, Politico.com

    “A touching, even-handed, and genuinely significant film.” Dan Nuxoll, Rooftopfilms.com

    “…smart and absorbing…a microcosm of a nation…” – Flickhead.com

    “….revelatory: a deeply committed piece of high-def storytelling.”– Steve Dollar, The New York Sun

    “….a fresh, unique perspective…entertaining and incredibly affecting…” – Josh Tyler, Cinemablend

    “…a breakthrough film, a must-see of this year’s docs.” –Richard Linklater

    “Vital…Engaging…CRAWFORD has the potential to disrupt narratives and change the way people think.” – Jake Gyllenhaal

    “The right mingles with the left, no one is declared a winner…a brilliant job…refreshing to have such a politically charged environment delivered to the viewer with such an even hand.” – Mark Bell, Film Threat

    WATCH THE TRAILER at http://www.crawfordmovie.com (or catch it on YouTube)

    More info at http://www.crawfordmovie.com


    see you there!

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  6. lei16gh says:

    I am the GovLoop Blog Outreach coordinator and I just wanted to send you a quick note asking if you’d consider cross-posting your awesome blog postings on GovLoop. GovLoop is a government focused online community that was bourne out of the Department of Homeland Security and has grown to become a community of more than 20,000 people. American bloggers like Gwynne Kostin and Steve Radick are already cross-posting with a quick copy-paste, significantly increasing their readership and exposure and getting them in front of additional smart government innovators.

    FYI, pulling from RSS feeds currently isn’t possible with our technology but is on our roadmap as we evolve. We totally understand that it is kind of a pain to copy/paste but we hope you take the minute to post and hopefully access some great discussions with our large community of federal folks. Keep writing phenomenal postings and we really hope to see them on our site soon. Our community would love your insightful and thought provoking writing!

    Keep being awesome and let me know if you have any questions!

    Jenn Gustetic

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