President Obama Appoints Edward Tufte--Big Victory for Data Visualization And Transparent Government

I just picked this up from my Twitter stream. It’s quite an amazing event. Edward Tufte helping the American public see where their $787 billion in economic stimulus tax money is going to help revive the US economy. Turning to Tufte is a brilliant move by Obama and a big win for innovation.

Here is what Tufte says:

“I will be serving on the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel. This Panel advises The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, whose job is to track and explain $787 billion in recovery stimulus funds:

“The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with two goals: To provide transparency in relation to the use of Recovery-related funds. To prevent and detect fraud, waste, and mismanagement. Earl E. Devaney was appointed by President Obama to serve as chairman of the Recovery Board. Twelve Inspectors General from various federal agencies serve with Chairman Devaney. The Board issues quarterly and annual reports to the President and Congress and, if necessary, “flash reports” on matters that require immediate attention. In addition, the Board maintains the website so the American people can see how Recovery money is being distributed by federal agencies and how the funds are being used by the recipients.

Mission statement: To promote accountability by coordinating and conducting oversight of Recovery funds to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and to foster transparency on Recovery spending by providing the public with accurate, user-friendly information.”

I’m doing this because I like accountability and transparency, and I believe in public service. And it is the complete opposite of everything else I do. Maybe I’ll learn something. The practical consequence is that I will probably go to Washington several days each month, in addition to whatever homework and phone meetings are necessary.”

We need more designers and design thinkers like Tufte in government.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.