UA official named state’s chief data officer

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 140 views 

The Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services has named Josh McGee the state’s chief data officer.

McGee is the associate director of the Office for Education Policy in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas. He will, according to a news release, lead the state’s effort to bring disparate data together and put it to use to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state government.

“We are excited to have Dr. McGee serve as the state’s chief data officer in a collaborative effort with the University of Arkansas. His unique experience brings a fresh perspective to state government,” said Amy Fecher, secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services. “This innovative, data-driven, and action-oriented approach aligns perfectly with transformation’s core mission.”

Prior to joining the UA, McGee was an executive vice president with the Arnold Foundation in Houston where he led a team that invested $50 million in data-driven efforts to improve public policy in six states and Washington, D.C. The strategy paired state governments with dedicated university partners who integrated administrative data and deployed research to help policymakers address persistent challenges. These “policy labs” redirected more than $150 million in taxpayer resources toward more effective uses.

McGee said he’s eager to use his experience to help the state build the long-term capacity to use data and evidence to better serve Arkansas’ citizens, and he is actively seeking opportunities for collaboration between the university community and state government.

A native Arkansan, McGee received a Doctor of Philosophy in economics and a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering, all from the University of Arkansas.