Census CTO Avi Bender moving to head NTIS

Avi Bender is pictured at the 2016 Adobe Digital Government Assembly. Bender will be moving to NTIS. (FedScoop)


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Census Bureau CTO Avi Bender will be moving over to the National Technical Information Service, taking over the office as it looks to become a data broker between the public and private sector.

In a press release issued Monday, Bender’s move was announced alongside an NTIS appeal for joint venture partnership proposals from “for-profit, non-profit, or research performing service organizations” that will help federal agencies “collect, connect, access, analyze, or use Federal data and data services.”

“Data is a major currency of the 21st century,” Bender said in the release. “NTIS has unique legislative authority to match federal agencies that collect, use, and disseminate valuable data sets with highly qualified private sector partners. We want to make it easier for federal agencies to efficiently use and share their data in agile and innovative ways.”

Bender will preside over an agency that has been tasked with a major pivot over the past year.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced last June that NTIS was headed in a new direction, after the internet and other technological advances rendered its initial mission irrelevant.

“We are excited about this new direction for NTIS,” said Pritzker in her announcement last year. “Finding innovative ways to utilize the federal government’s expansive data resources will provide great opportunities for public-private sector collaboration.”

[Read more: NTIS seeking partners for data service projects]

The partnerships appeal, which FedScoop reported last week, will focus on brokering deals between agencies and the private sector to use data in new ways.

Companies, non-profits or others who would like to be joint venture partners with NTIS must submit proposals that address how revenue sharing would work. The services developed would be available only for federal agency customers.

[Check out FedScoop TV’s interview with Bender on IT modernization]

Named the first CTO of Census in 2010, Bender contributed to the bureau’s work on open data, service based architecture and change management. During his tenure, Census launched CitySDK, which allows cities to use application programming interfaces, to develop apps or services that combine various data sets related to a mix of economic, environmental, social, cultural and housing themes.  FedScoop named CitySDK as its Innovation of the Year in 2015.

Bender has bounced between the public and private sector since 1986. On the public side, he has spent time at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Internal Revenue Service prior to joining Census. He also worked for Verizon, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Samantha Ehlinger contributed to this report. 

Contact the reporter on this story via email at greg.otto@fedscoop.com, or follow him on Twitter at @gregotto. His OTR and PGP info can be found hereSubscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

-In this Story-

Avi Bender, Commerce Department, data analytics, Departments, National Technical Information Service, open data, Tech, U.S. Census Bureau