Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The IBM Center for The Business of Government is pleased to announce that Patrick Lester will partner with the Center as a Visiting Fellow for Evidence-Based Decisionmaking.

Over the past decade, the federal government has systematically increased the use of evidence-based, data-driven approaches in decision making, sometimes called “Moneyball for Government.” These efforts embrace traditional fields such as program evaluation, but now include the use of open data, business analytics, and social and behavioral sciences for describing problems, predicting needs, and testing new approaches. They also include improved policy tools for contracting, including “pay for success” initiatives such as social impact bonds and performance contracts, and tiered evidence grants. The IBM Center for The Business of Government recognizes the importance of describing and assessing these efforts to raise understanding of the value and use of these tools for public managers. To enhance our ability to help government in this emerging area, Patrick Lester will serve as a Visiting Fellow over the next several months; Mr. Lester will highlight progress in this field, and develop case studies of specific initiatives underway in states, localities, nonprofits, and the federal government. Mr. Lester brings tremendous expertise and experience to this role. He is the director of the Social Innovation Research Center, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that prepares reports on highly effective government programs and nonprofits. Mr. Lester also aggregates and curates major social innovation-related news, and interviews leading experts, government officials, and frontline practitioners. Mr. Lester’s work is currently funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) and the IBM Center, and the Center looks forward to collaborating with LJAF through the period of this Visiting Fellowship. Mr. Lester previously was a director at the Center for Effective Government, was vice president for social impact at Social Solutions, vice president for public policy at the Alliance for Children and Families, and director of public policy for United Way of America. He also served on the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Bill Clinton. While at the IBM Center, Mr. Lester will write blogs and reports on current social innovation initiatives, such as the implementation of the interagency Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) for disconnected youth. Mr. Lester will also continue work on the report that he is writing for the Center on the topic of serving at-risk youth through public-private partnerships. The Center looks forward to sharing Mr. Lester’s insights with our colleagues and stakeholders across government, industry, and academia. **Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net