By Mary Martialay

The National Academy of Public Administration has selected Francine Berman, the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for inclusion in its 2020 Class of Academy Fellows. Selection of new fellows follows a rigorous review of the individual’s contributions to the field of public administration and policy. Berman is being recognized for her years of public-focused service and expertise.

Berman’s work focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as data policy, preservation, and infrastructure. The IoT is a deeply interconnected ecosystem of billions of devices and systems that are transforming commerce, science, and society. Berman is exploring the overarching ecosystem needed to develop an IoT that maximizes benefits, minimizes risk, and promotes individual protections, the public interest, and planetary responsibility. Recent other work has focused on data stewardship and preservation, particularly with respect to the policy, practice, and infrastructure needed to ensure the integrity, longevity, and usefulness of the data on which modern research relies.

“I am honored to be elected to the National Academy of Public Administration,” said Berman. “The Academy’s focus on the public interest is an important focus for my work on the societal and ethical implications of information technologies.”

Berman also is a founder of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), a community-driven international organization whose mission is to build global infrastructure that enables data sharing and data-driven research. Since its launch in 2012, RDA has attracted over 9,600 members from over 130 countries and built data infrastructure in use by groups and projects all over the world. Berman served as co-chair of RDA’s leadership council and as chair of RDA’s U.S. region for the organization’s first six years.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Berman to the Academy’s 2020 class of fellows,” said Terry Gerton, president and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration. “Our distinguished fellows are nationally recognized for their expertise and contributions to the field of public administration and Francine Berman is no exception. During this especially turbulent time for government, we welcome her experience and perspective as we work collaboratively to find solutions to the Grand Challenges in Public Administration, advance social equity, and build resilient communities.”