National Security Agency (NSA) veteran Natalie Evans Harris has been tapped to lead Bloomberg Philanthropies’ new Black Wealth Data Center (BWDC).
The center’s launch was announced on Thursday, Sept. 15, from its official Twitter account. “We are the Black Wealth Data Center, a go-to resource for wealth equity data that public and private sector leaders can access to drive solutions for racial wealth equity,” the tweet said along with a link to the BWDC’s website.
The center – which has eight staff members, including Evans Harris – is funded by an eight-figure commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, Philanthropy Now Digest reported. It is incubated at Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Prosperity Now.
Black households have one-eighth the wealth of white households, according to research from McKinsey & Co. The BWDC aims to address the gaps in data on Black wealth to help better inform the work of those in various sectors working to close the racial wealth gap.
“The gap that we were experiencing … is one that many non-profits, policymakers, practitioners and people in city halls face,” Garnesha Ezediaro, who leads the Greenwood Initiative, told Forbes. “They don’t have an evidence base to work from around what would actually impact this issue. If you look at climate or gender equity, the use of data has been transformative for movement-building as well as decision-making. And we believe racial wealth equity should be the same.”
According to her LinkedIn profile, Evans Harris has worked in the data space for over two decades, including “a 16-year career at the National Security Agency, and 18 months with Obama Administration.”
Evans Harris also founded and co-founded Community-driven Principles for Ethical Data Sharing (CPEDS) and the data trust platform BrightHive, respectively.
On her website, Evans highlights her commitment to ethical data collection. “I aim to spur the ethical imagination of all technologists, to ensure data is ethically collected, stored, and used,” Evans said.
“I believe that ALL PEOPLE have the ability to TRANSFORM lives when the right data is accessible at the right time in the right way,” her manifesto states.
PHOTO: Natalie Evans Harris, https://www.linkedin.com/in/nevansharris/ Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City (John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 9/11/22) / National Security Administration (NSA) campus, Fort Meade, Md., June 6, 2013 (AP/Patrick Semansky, File)