about jeff

I'm a statistician and a data scientist, primarily working on strategy and policy issues affecting society. I've often served as the founding member of a number of data startup offices across industry and government, allowing me to work in over 30 fields and apply machine learning to some of society's toughest issues. Through my work, I've been quite fortunate to work with people from all walks of life from firefighters, lawyers, climatologists, presidential advisors, economists, among others.

In a prior life, I worked as a freelance sports photojournalist, covering extreme and fast moving sports. My work has been published in the New York Times, the Village Voice, ESPN affiliates, Canoe + Kayak, Adventure Kayak, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, among other outlets. In addition, I have photographs in a Smithsonian exhibit on hometown sports.

deputy chief data officer

us department of commerce

2016 to present

Jeff Chen is the Deputy Chief Data Officer of the US Department of Commerce and leads the Commerce Data Service.

chief data scientist

us department of commerce

2015 to 2016

Jeff Chen was the first Chief Data Scientist of the US Department of Commerce and serves as part of the leadership team of the Commerce Data Service, a new data startup team within the Office of the Secretary of Commerce.

adjunct professor + data scientist-in-residence

georgetown university

2015 to present

To help guide the next generation of data scientists, I worked with Georgetown University's new program in data analytics/science to advise program faculty on strategic efforts, host hands-on sessions on applied issues related to the practice of data science, and mentor students on the emerging field of data science. Also, I co-teach a graduate-level class on data science and machine learning for public policy.

presidential innovation fellow

nasa + white house

2014 to 2015

I was selected to serve as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on the President's Climate Data Initiative.

director of analytics

nyc fire department - fdny

2013 to 2014

As an extension of Mayor Bloomberg's data-driven push, I had the opportunity to be the first Director of Analytics for the New York City Fire Department. It was the first data science office in the nation's largest fire department. A key part of the work at FDNY was to develop FireCast, an experimental predictive risk engine that was able to predict fire risk with a high degree of accuracy.

statistical expert

clinton health access initiative

2012 to 2013

In my off hours, I've worked on operations research projects to understand vaccine uptake, supply chain, and medical issues in Africa.

senior statistician + manager of statistical data

nyc mayor's office

2011 to 2013

During the Bloomberg Administration, I was among the first of a new wave of advanced statisticians and data scientists to enter NYC government. I led projects tackling citywide priorities such as data-driven response after Hurricane Sandy to lawsuit outcome prediction to welfare fraud detection. My project portfolio spanned the Mayor's Office of Operations and the Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.

senior consultant + econometrician

halcrow + ch2m hill

2007 to 2011

I cut my technical teeth as an econometrician at an international economic and management consultancy working on large scale economic, infrastructure, transport and environmental investments. Most of my efforts focused on forecasting, prediction/scoring, estimation methods, spatio-temporal approaches, sampling design