Aspen Digital

Natalie Evans Harris

Former Executive Director, Black Wealth Data Center

Natalie Evans Harris' headshot.

Natalie Evans Harris is a leading voice in the responsible use of data for social impact. With nearly 20 years of experience, Evans Harris has spent her career working with a broad network of academic institutions, data science organizations, application developers, and foundations to advance the responsible use of data. In her most recent role as the founding executive director of the Black Wealth Data Center, she established and led a team tasked with harnessing data to support the creation of programs, policies, and strategies to measurably increase Black wealth. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative and hosted by Prosperity Now, the Black Wealth Data Center is a national nonprofit focused on measuring wealth in Black communities to empower a wide range of public and private sector leaders with actionable data for policy making and investment decisions.

Natalie Evans Harris’ career includes working in senior-level roles for more than 16-years at the National Security Agency, where she led an analytics development center and as a senior policy advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer with the Obama administration. During her tenure in the Obama administration, Evans Harris created the White House Data Cabinet, a space for federal data leaders to collaboratively improve data sharing across the Federal government that grew to over 200 active members across more than 40 federal agencies. She also helped launch The Opportunity Project, which brought together the private sector, government and academia to build data-driven, digital solutions targeting urgent community problems using government data.

Before joining the Black Wealth Data Center, Evans Harris worked for the Biden administration as a Senior Advisor for Delivery for the Department of Commerce. In this role, she advised on technology, data, and design opportunities to ensure equitable delivery of Commerce programs and services. She also served on the Biden-Harris Transition team, advising the incoming administration on technology priorities for the Intelligence Community.

In 2017, Evans Harris co-founded and served as the head of strategic initiatives at BrightHive, a data trust platform that allows organizations, networks, and communities to securely and responsibly link their data and enhance their impact. While there, Evans Harris founded the Community-Driven Principles for Ethical Data Sharing (CPEDS) now known as Global Data Ethics Project (GDEP), an initiative focused on improving the ethical practices and the use of data. Today, the initiative has over 1,200 active members focused on strengthening ethical practices in the data science community through a data science code of ethics.

Evans Harris has a master’s degree in public administration from The George Washington University and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter.