Department of State’s Data Day
Tuesday, May 9 @ 10:30AM – 12:00PM (ET)
Please note, this virtual event is accessible from any device on any computer system including DIN and home internet. Open Net is not required to join the event.
** Some OpenNet users may experience difficulty accessing the chat from their workstations. You may switch to a DIN or home internet computer, or if OpenNet is the only available option, access the player and chat via the following link: https://video.ibm.com/channel/52fwFK44eHe
About the Event:
Learn about how the Department is emphasizing data in key priority efforts such as Global Operations and the Climate Crisis. The event is also an opportunity to cheer on your colleagues as the winners of the 2023 Data for Diplomacy Awards are announced.
Antony J. Blinken is the 71st U.S. Secretary of State.
He was nominated by President Biden on November 23, 2020; confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 26, 2021; and sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris the following day.
Over three decades and three presidential administrations, Mr. Blinken has helped shape U.S. foreign policy to ensure it protects U.S. interests and delivers results for the American people. He served as deputy secretary of state for President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017, and before that, as President Obama’s principal deputy national security advisor. In that role, Mr. Blinken chaired the interagency deputies committee, the main forum for hammering out the administration’s foreign policy.
During the first term of the Obama Administration, Mr. Blinken was national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. This was the continuation of a long professional relationship that stretched back to 2002, when Mr. Blinken began his six-year stint as Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then-Senator Biden was the chair of that committee from 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009.
During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Blinken served as a member of the National Security Council staff, including two years as the senior director for European affairs, the president’s principal advisor on the countries of Europe, the European Union, and NATO. He also spent four years as President Clinton’s chief foreign policy speechwriter, and he led the NSC’s strategic planning team.
Mr. Blinken’s public service began at the State Department. From 1993 to 1994, he was a special assistant in what was then called the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. Now he is proud to lead the department where he got his start in government nearly 30 years ago.
Outside of government, Mr. Blinken has worked in the private sector, civil society, and journalism. He was a founder of WestExec Advisors, an international strategic consulting firm focused on geopolitics and national security. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 and 2002. Before joining government, Mr. Blinken practiced law in New York and Paris. He was also a reporter for The New Republic magazine and is the author of Ally Versus Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis (Praeger, 1987).
Mr. Blinken attended grade school and high school in Paris, where he received a French Baccalaureat degree with high honors. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School. He and his wife Evan Ryan have two children.
In December 2020, Dr. Matthew Graviss became the Chief Data Officer of the Department of State. In this role, Dr. Graviss is responsible for making data accessible, interoperable, and actionable across the Department of State. He also serves as the Managing Director for the Office of Management Strategy and Solution’s Center for Analytics (CfA), which aims to imbue the Department with a data focused culture and corresponding talent, advance data governance, expand analytics capability, and modernize data technology solutions.
Prior to joining the State Department, Dr. Graviss spent 13 years in leadership positions at the Department of Homeland Security, as well as time in the private sector. Most recently, Dr. Graviss spent two and a half years as the first Chief Data Officer at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within DHS, where he led data management and analytics services for USCIS’ 20,000 person workforce.
Graviss holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a doctorate in systems engineering from George Washington University. He is a Level 3 certified acquisition professional in program management, systems engineering, and test and evaluation. He is also a graduate of American University’s Key Executive Leadership program.
Richard R. Verma serves as the 5th Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources. He was nominated by President Biden in January 2023 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2023. Deputy Secretary Verma was the United States Ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017 and the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs from 2009 to 2011.
He worked in the Senate for many years, serving as Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader, and he also worked in the House of Representatives. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served on active duty as a Judge Advocate. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
The Deputy Secretary also has a distinguished career in the private sector, most recently serving as Chief Legal Officer and Head of Global Policy at MasterCard. He served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and as a commissioner on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission.
Deputy Secretary Verma is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award, the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and was ranked as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans. Deputy Secretary Verma holds multiple degrees, including his PhD from Georgetown University and his JD from American University’s Washington College of Law.
John Bass was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 17, 2021, as the Under Secretary for Management.
A career Senior Foreign Service officer, he served as Senior Advisor at the Foreign Service Institute from 2020-2021, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan 2017-2020, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey from 2014 to 2017, Executive Secretary of the State Department from 2012 to 2014, and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia from 2009 to 2012. He began his diplomatic career in 1988 and has also served in positions in U.S. missions in Iraq, Italy, Belgium, and Chad.
In Washington, Ambassador Bass’s assignments have included service on Vice President Cheney’s staff, as Chief of Staff and advisor to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, as Director of the State Department’s Operations Center and in several assignments focused on European security issues. He has received numerous State Department performance awards.
The son of a public servant and a U.S. Air Force officer, Bass was born and raised in upstate New York. A graduate of Syracuse University, he speaks Italian and French. He is married to U.S. diplomat Holly Holzer Bass.
Jennifer “J.R.” Littlejohn is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, most recently serving as the Deputy Director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia.
In Washington, Ms. Littlejohn has served as the Director for Central and Northern European Affairs on the National Security Council staff at the White House; Director for Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Senior Advisor on the Secretary of State’s Executive Staff; and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Overseas, she has served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste and the Executive Secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in addition to assignments in Brazil, Thailand, and Germany.
Ms. Littlejohn earned a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University; a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Morgan State University. She has studied German, Macedonian, Portuguese, and Thai, and is the recipient of several State Department Superior Honor Awards. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she was a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow in Berlin, Germany.
Alaina B. Teplitz was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Administration on December 6, 2021.
Previously, Teplitz served as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2018 to 2021. She served as Ambassador to Nepal from 2015-2018. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, she joined the State Department in 1991 and is the recipient of numerous Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards. In Sri Lanka, she built upon seven decades of partnership and cooperation to encourage enhanced prosperity, strengthened democratic institutions, and stability.
Focused on laying the foundation for successful 21st century American diplomacy, Teplitz held the Assistant-Secretary ranked position of director of the Office of Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation (M/PRI) at the Department of State from 2012-2015. Under her leadership, M/PRI found innovative ways to reform our bureaucracy and improve the way that our diplomatic service operates. Teplitz championed efforts to improve knowledge management, data use, and risk management.
Prior to leading M/PRI, Teplitz was minister counselor for management at U.S. Embassy Kabul from 2011-2012. Teplitz also served as the deputy executive director of NEA’s joint executive office from 2009-2011, where she handled the South and Central Asia portfolio, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was the director of the management training division at FSI from 2007-2009. Previous assignments include management counselor in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and deputy director of the Joint Administrative Services supporting three U.S. Missions – the U.S. Mission to NATO, the U.S. Mission to the EU, and the U.S. Embassy to Belgium. Her previous posts also include Ulaanbaatar, Tirana, and Sydney.
Teplitz holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Master’s in Public Administration from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Charlotte McClintock is a data scientist with the M/SS Center for Analytics, where she has been serving as the technical lead for the Enterprise Data Campaign with State climate leadership, working with the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and OES Office of Global Change. In this role, she focuses on contributing to the development of evidence-based policies to support the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy and the implementation of the Paris Agreement and other international climate commitments. Before joining the U.S. Department of State, Charlotte served in a range of non-profit and research public interest data science roles focusing on climate advocacy, criminal justice reform, and housing.
Kennedy Patterson is a data scientist with the M/SS Center for Analytics providing data science support to the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and OES Office of Global Change. As a member of the Enterprise Data Climate Campaign, her efforts have supported the implementation of best data management practices within Climate teams across bureaus and the creation of data-driven approaches to bilateral climate engagement and climate policy development. She previously supported the Afghanistan Evacuation Task Force and the ensuing Afghan relocation and resettlement efforts under Operation Allies Welcome.
Saphia Abouelenein is an analytics professional supporting the M/SS Center for Analytics. For the past 6 months, she has been providing analytics and data visualization skills to the Enterprise Data Campaign for Climate, in partnership with the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the OES Office of Global Change. In her role, Saphia has focused specifically on improving accessibility to USG-funded climate programs and associated budgetary and results data. Prior to joining CfA, Saphia worked as a Research Assistant on USAID’s Data Services team.
Matt Paschke is a Special Assistant for the Under Secretary for Management. He is a Foreign Service Officer and has served in Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Beijing, Baghdad, Jerusalem, and Washington in a variety consular positions and as an Environment, Science, Technology, and Health officer. Originally from North Canton, Ohio, he has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Harvard University and a master’s degree in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago.
Lee Thompson is a career member of the Foreign Service and works in the Bureau of Global Talent Management as the Special Assistant to the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Talent Management. He previously served as General Services Officer at U.S. Embassy Mbabane, Eswatini from 2020-2022, where he was acting Political Chief in the aftermath of the civil unrest crisis that led to the evacuation of post. Prior to this, he served as a Vice-Consul at U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt.
Originally from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Lee holds a BS in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Texas A&M University. He was an engineer and manager in the food & beverage manufacturing industry before joining the Foreign Service. He speaks German, plays piano, and lives with his partner alongside a rotating assortment of cats.