As the first month of the new year rolls by, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is loading up on new hires.

Three experts from both academia and the public sector will be joining the Executive Office of the President in senior tech-related roles for data and justice; data and democracy; and public access and research policy.

Rebecca Wexler, assistant professor of law at University of California, Berkeley, was appointed as a senior policy advisor for data and justice.

“I am thrilled to be joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to work on issues regarding technology and the criminal legal system,” Wexler wrote in a Jan. 12 social media post. “I’m honored to be part of a team of wonderful colleagues doing this important work.”

Wexler noted that her responsibilities in the new position will be to assist the office leadership in the development of policies related to the fairness, rigor, and validity of science and technology in the criminal legal system.

She also will help lead efforts to generate policy that contributes to the oversight of algorithmic and data-centric forensic science and technology – for instance, certain policing technologies, like facial recognition and predictive algorithms.

Alan Mislove, assistant professor at Northeastern University, also has a new position as assistant director for data and democracy at OSTP.

His work will focus on issues affecting automated systems and practices related to technology, data, and privacy.

Mislove’s research interests have revolved primarily around algorithmic auditing, and the practice of assessing, mitigating, and assuring an algorithm’s legality, ethics, and safety.

Maryam Zaringhalam was also appointed to the OSTP as an assistant director for public access and research policy.

Zaringhalam comes back to government after more than five years in the public sector, where she serves as the data science and open science officer at the National Library of Medicine in the National Institutes of Health.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.