About David

A public policy entrepreneur, open government activist and negotiation expert, David is a Lecturer of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. At HKS, he teaches on digital transformation, service delivery, open government and open data. David is also a co-founder of ReCollect Systems, a company that provides software services to hundreds of municipalities and is used by tens of millions of residents.

If you are interested in having David give a talk please email him here.

Public Policy Entrepreneur

David writes on open innovation, public policy, public service sector renewal, open source and network systems. Since having kids and starting to lecture, he has posted a lot less often but will occasionally post here or elsewhere as needed. He is frequently invited to speak on open government, policy making, digital transformation, negotiation, and strategy to executives, policymakers, and students. In 2018, he was named one of 20 most influential on Apolitical’s World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government.

Some of his favourite work and volunteer activities have included:

Open Activist

In 2009, as an adviser to the Office of the Mayor of Vancouver on Open Government and Open Data, David helped draft the Open Motion. He then went on to advise numerous governments at the local, provincial/state, national and international levels on open data and open government, helping them craft strategies as well as execute implementation plans.

In addition to working with politicians and government officials, David engages programmers and citizens at the local and national level to make use of, and advocate for, more open and transparent government. He frequently writes and is invited to speak on how open source methodologies and open data can help make government more effective and efficient.


As a negotiation consultant, David advises companies, non-profits and advocacy groups on their critical negotiations. He has developed and helped implement collaborative strategies for open source communities and Fortune 500 companies as they seek to maximize the value they generate with community members, partners, alliance members, customers, and suppliers. His work has taken him across North America and around the world in a range of industries including financial services, health-care, information technology, and the energy sector.

He served as a negotiation advisor to a coalition of environmental government organizations during almost 2 years of negotiations with the Forestry Products Association of Canada (FPAC). This negotiation produced the groundbreaking Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Since the agreement’s signing, David has served as a mediator and facilitator on critical implementation committees. More recently he trained all of Greenpeace International’s climate change activists in America, Europe and Asia.


David lives in Cambridge, MA. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in history at Queen’s University and a Master’s of International Relations at Oxford. He is a former Sauvé Scholar at McGill University and an Action Canada Fellow.

David can be reached by email here.

Below is a map of what he works on and thinks about – a number of friends and colleagues have found it helpful.

My Life

46 thoughts on “About David

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