Building Forward - Farewell to Jon and Lorraine, Welcome to Vanessa as our new Program Director

Vanessa Parlette, our new Program Director

Vanessa Parlette, our new Program Director

We are excited to share with you that Powered by Data has reached a pivotal moment. Through 2018, we collaborated with a range of organizations to lay the foundation for a coalition to design a policy agenda around administrative data-sharing and re-use for social impact.

We are thrilled to introduce you to Vanessa Parlette, our new Program Director, who will launch this coalition in collaboration with advocacy groups, service providers, and funders in the non-profit sector. We also have to say goodbye and express our gratitude to Jon McPhedran Waitzer and to Lorraine Chuen for all of their efforts that have brought us to this point.


As many of you know, Jon joined Powered by Data in 2017 as Network and Engagement Advisor. Lorraine joined soon after in early 2018 as Communications Lead. Together and alongside Michael, Jon and Lorraine built in-roads to developing an administrative data policy coalition for the social sector. Through 2018, they worked with co-convening partners to organize roundtables with each group to explore potential benefits, risks, and interest in pursuing an agenda to achieve access to administrative data. From those meetings, Jon and Lorraine took seriously the need to work with and centre our approach to the work around communities at the margins that carry the greatest risks of government data collection and data sharing processes.

Jon and Lorraine with Virgina Eubanks at the 2018 Allied Media Conference in Detroit

Jon and Lorraine with Virgina Eubanks at the 2018 Allied Media Conference in Detroit


Jon led the work of securing resources for the project to move forward while continuing to build partnerships and network relationships. Lorraine led the communications strategy and delved into the research behind administrative data case studies, exploring models to improve community outcomes while gaining understanding of significant risks and potentials for misuse. We leveraged this research while designing our process for engaging partners, aimed at ensuring equitable decision-making, and for hiring a Program Director who believes strongly in those principles.

With that, in April, we welcomed Vanessa Parlette to her new role as Program Director, Data Policy Coalition. Vanessa brings more than 12 years of experience developing, managing, and implementing evidence-based policies and strategies spanning grassroots, social sector, academic, and government institutions. Across all of these she has a strong reputation for building participatory planning and shared ownership through all stages of planning goals, process, and solutions. We're most excited by what we see from Vanessa's:

·       deep experience making space for civil society within policy-making processes;

·       passion for the role of evidence in policy to better meet the needs of communities;

·       experience convening and facilitating meaningful conversations across diverse groups.

Get ready to see more of this as we move towards a coalition launch - more on that soon!

For now, please join us in celebrating the progress made through Jon and Lorraine's leadership and help us wish them well as they move forward with their respective projects. Finally, please join us in welcoming Vanessa to the Powered by Data team. We can't wait to continue building toward stronger social impact together!

Lorraine Chuen