About

Alexander B. Howard is an independent writer and open government advocate based in Washington, DC. Howard has been honored twice by The Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington’s “TechTitans,” which recognized him as a “respected trend-spotter and chronicler of government’s use of new media.”

Over the years, Howard has appeared on-air as an analyst for All Things Considered, Marketplace, MSNBC, WHYY, WAMU, Federal News Radio, Al Jazeera English, and America, Washington Post TV, WJLA and a guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and has been quoted in hundreds of print, broadcast, radio and digital publications.

Howard has held fellowships at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School and the Networked Transparency Policy Project in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Howard is the former deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, where he wore a dozen different hats after being appointed to help lead the “restartup” of one of the world’s preeminent nonpartisan open government nonprofits during the presidential transition and the first sixteen months of the Trump administration.

The projects that he created and nurtured at Sunlight ranged from building on its legacy as a transparency watchdog to tracking Trump’s conflicts of interest and reporting on the ongoing corruption of the presidency to the Web Integrity Project.

Howard started and led numerous initiatives, from civic engagement to strategic advocacy. He edited and published watchdog journalism that held the Trump White House accountable. He managed and grew Sunlight’s social media accounts, speaking truth to power at @SunFoundation and engaging a global audience. He acted as expert source of analysis for media around the world, delivering keynote speeches in national capitols from Europe to South America. And he worked in coalitions on open government reform efforts in cities, states and nations around the world. While at Sunlight, he helped draft the Honest Ads Act, which would make online political ads transparent. The bill’s framework been adopted, adapted and enacted in states, endorsed by Facebook and Twitter, and used as a standard for transparency by those tech companies and Google.

Previous to taking a leadership role, Howard was a senior analyst at Sunlight, where he led the foundation’s federal transparency work, with issues covering the gamut of digital government, open government data, press freedom, net neutrality, social media, identity and privacy.

In 2016, Howard was the first senior editor for technology and society at the Huffington Post.

In 2014 and 2015, he was a columnist at TechRepublic and a contributor to TechPresident, among other fine publications. In 2013, he founded e-pluribusbunum.org a blog focused on open government and technology.From 2010 to 2013, he was the Washington Correspondent for Radar at O’Reilly Media.

Prior to joining O’Reilly, he was the associate editor of SearchCompliance.com and WhatIs.com at TechTarget, where he wrote about how the laws and regulations that affect information technology are changing, spanning the issues of online identity, data protection, risk management, electronic privacy and IT security, and the broader topics of online culture and enterprise technology.

Howard has also contributed to WIRED, the National Journal, PBS MediashiftThe Daily BeastNextGov, Forbes, Buzzfeed, Slate, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, TechPresident, CBS News’ What’s Trending, Govloop, Governing People, and the Association for Computer Manufacturing, amongst others.

He has been a keynote speaker, moderator and panelist at numerous conferences in Washington and beyond, including the Web 2.0 Summit and Expo, Gov 2.0 Summit and Expo, Social Media Week, DC Week, SXSWi, Strata, GOSCON, AMP Summit, Tech@State, CAR/IRE, the State of the Net and the Open Government Partnership’s annual summits in Brasilia and Mexico City.

Howard also delivered remarks or moderated discussions at Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, The Wilson Center, New York Law School, Alfred University, The Mona School of Business at the University of The West Indies, The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), The U.S. National Archives, NIST, The Club de Madrid, The Cato Institute, The New America Foundation, The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. In 2011, he was Visiting Faculty at the Poynter Institute. Howard was an unpaid member of the Government of Canada’s independent advisory panel on open government from 2012-2015.

Howard graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in Biology. He now resides in the District of Columbia with his family.

You are welcome to connect through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Flickr,YouTubeGoogle+ and Instagram, or on his personal blog.

Please send ideas, tips and requests for comment, moderation or speaking to 410-849-9808 or email.

13 responses to “About

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  7. An anecdote: I can (and have) gotten totally amazing jobs by talking with people in the trenches (usually engineers) who were either facing a cliff or had fallen off one. What Johnson said about execution focussing the mind? Well, principled practitioners respond that way to calamity. My point: I get around HR.

    HR don’t like me. I didn’t like them in the 60s (high-school … I had long hair, was playing bass and building stereos, doing lights for theatre &tc) or the 70s (maximally hi-tech, NORAD/SAC and such) and on and on. The next generation? I didn’t like their parents (reciprocated) and I don’t like them (reciprocated).

    Principled practioners … as close as we can get to bushido. (The samurai is hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Zen master? Other way ’round.) When you compromise enough to get power (dominant paradigm, n’est-ce pas?) … well, ask Obama. So far as I can tell the politician’s brand of authentic integrity is keeping relatively honest count of how many scalps he’s taken.

    You, sir … I think the litmus test is approachability. “Even the fool has his story”, says the Desiderata. You … the absence of arrogance … speaks volumes, that does.

    ^5
    ben

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  9. I love your header picture. Wish I could have been the one who knew how to take it!

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  11. I agree, that header looks great. How did you take it?

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