September 23, 2022

Former National Security Agency Official To Lead Black Wealth Data Research Center

National Security Agency (NSA) veteran Natalie Evans Harris has been announced as the Executive Director of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ new Black Wealth Data Center (BWDC). 

The BWDC, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, works to increase generational wealth and address the systemic underinvestment within Black communities.

As the Executive Director of the BWDC, Harris will lead a team tasked with harnessing data to support the creation of programs, policies, and strategies to measurably increase Black wealth.

A wealth of experience

Harris brings nearly 20 years of experience advancing the public sector’s strategic use of data including 16 years at the NSA where she led an analytics development center.

She also worked as a senior policy advisor to the US Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration, where she founded The Data Cabinet – a federal data science community of practice with over 200 active members across more than 40 federal agencies.

Harris is also known as the co-founder and Head of Strategic Initiatives of BrightHive, a data sharing platform for users to easily and securely connect data.

“I am thrilled to lead the Black Wealth Data Center, help leverage data and technology to expedite the accumulation of Black wealth and establish partnerships with practitioners and policymakers to power the path to equity,” said Harris.

A resource for change

The BWDC aims to empower decision-makers – including practitioners, elected officials at all levels, philanthropists–and journalists. This new collaboration will also build a network for leaders and organizations working to create economic progress for Black families and communities. 

“Leaders and organizations across the country have been challenged by the lack of accessible and high-quality data disaggregated by race – making it difficult to assess what’s working and not working in efforts to make America more equitable, what assets exist in Black communities, and what we need to do to effect change,” said Ganesha Ezediaro, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood initiative. 

“With a commitment to continuously scan and integrate the best data into a comprehensive, user-friendly source, the Black Wealth Data Center will be a resource for leaders who are working to ensure that data can be accessed more equitably, progress can be measured more precisely, and that change can come faster.” 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.