Director, Burnes Center for Social Change and Innovation

Beth Simone Noveck is a professor at Northeastern University, where she directs the Burnes Center for Social Change and its partner project, The GovLab. She is faculty at the Institute for Experiential AI, School of Law, and in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the College of Arts, Design, and Media, the College of Engineering, and affiliated faculty at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. 

Beth’s work focuses on using AI to reimagine participatory democracy and strengthen governance, and she has spent her career helping institutions incorporate more equitable and open ways of working using new technology.

Among her many civic technology projects, she created Unchat, one of the first online platforms for democratic engagement, and Peer-to-Patent to connect scientists to policymakers to improve the patent process. Two decades before the Metaverse, she built Democracy Island in Second Life.

Previously, Beth served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer under President Obama. She founded the White House Open Government Initiative, which created policies and platforms, such as and, for making the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. In 2020, Beth designed Ask a Scientist to crowdsource answers to COVID questions.

She served as senior advisor for Open Government for UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and between 2018-2021, she served on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Digital Council.

Appointed the State of New Jersey’s first Chief Innovation Officer by Governor Phil Murphy, Beth and her team are using new technology to improve equitable government delivery of services. The Office of Innovation has worked with partner agencies to modernize unemployment insurance, provide a whole-of-government response to COVID, collect real-time infection data, deliver everything needed to start, run and grow a business, and use open data to provide training information to job seekers and improve uptake of benefits, services and permits. She also served as Chair of the State’s Future of Work Task Force.

In addition to her current course on AI for Impact, Beth is the founder of open, online courses such as Solving Public Problems for social innovators in over 100 countries, Open Justice for legal innovators, and  InnovateUS for public sector professionals. The author of three earlier books, including Solving Public Problems: How to Fix Our Government and Change Our World (Yale Press 2021) (named a Best Book of 2021 by Stanford Social Innovation Review), Beth’s newest book is Democracy Rebooted: Unleashing the Power of AI.

She was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100” by Foreign Policy, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, a “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post, and one of the World’s 100 Most Influential Academics in Government by Apolitical.