National Academy of Public Administration Panel Report on Space Traffic Management

A panel of the National Academy of Public Administration, including Jane Fountain, NCDG Director, released a report that was requested by the U.S. Congress for the U.S. Department of Commerce on commercial space traffic management (STM). The report includes recommendations to advance the open data architecture and cross-sector gathering, analysis and use of data that have become increasingly critical to avoiding collisions in space as domestic and foreign commercial companies, universities, and military/intelligence agencies launch assets into orbit.

The panel published a brief article in Government Executive on the report on August 20, 2020 titled “Managing Space Traffic in an Increasingly Congested Orbit.”

The Moon, the Ghetto and Artificial Intelligence: Enacting Digital Government

Jane Fountain, director of the NCDG, was one of the keynote speakers of the 21st Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o ’20). The conference was held last June and focused on the discussions surrouding artificial intelligence and digital government. You can check out Fountain’s speech below:


Artificial intelligence promises to offer powerful means, tools and applications to solve a range of problems many of which have long been considered in digital government research. Yet fears abound concerning machine learning, an area of AI that includes opaque algorithms that “learn,” and datasets that may include biases that could have serious implications for the outputs of automated decision making. These profound technological developments collide with troubling increases in social and income inequalities that have produced political destabilization and human suffering. In a prescient lecture, Richard Nelson asked why it is that public policy can put someone on the moon but cannot solve the problems that produce and sustain the ghetto. What should digital government researchers know at artificial intelligence, and what might digital government researchers interested in artificial intelligence applications learn from the metaphor of the moon and the ghetto as we continue to examine and influence the enactment of digital government?

ACM Reference Format: Jane Fountain. 2020. Keynote: The Moon, the Ghetto and Artificial Intelligence: Enacting Digital Government. In dg.o ’20: The 21st Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o ’20), June 15–19, 2020, Seoul, NY, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2 pages.

Fountain Named Keynote Speaker of 21st Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research

Jane E. Fountain, Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, and adjunct distinguished professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences, will be a keynote speaker at the 21st Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o 2020).

The theme of dg.o 2020 is “Intelligent Government in the Intelligent Information Society.” This conference will focus on the role and capacity building of government and the new governance that would be required to timely address the challenges and opportunities that are brought by the new technologies and also to construct a trust-based society by achieving sustainable development in the intelligent information society.

Fountain directs the National Center for Digital Government. Her current research is focused on institutions and digitalization, specifically on cross-boundary and emergent institutional arrangements. She has worked with and coauthored with graduate students, and others, in the areas of institutional development and governance related to technological change in information and communications.

Fountain was selected to the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government and one of the 14 Most Influential Academics in Digital Government in 2018 and 2019 by apolitical. She was named a Federal 100 awardee in 2013. Fountain is an elected Fellow (2012) and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Public Administration; a former Chair, Vice Chair and invited member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on the Future of Government; was a member of the American Bar Association Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of eRulemaking; and was an appointed member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Innovation.

Fountain was awarded the UMass Amherst Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed to faculty on the campus, and the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity.

Fountain Named to Global List of 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government

Jane Fountain, Distinguished Professor of political science and public policy and director of the National Center for Digital Government, has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government for 2018 by global policy platform Apolitical.

The list is the first of its kind to show the full international spread of innovative work in the field of digital government, with public servants from all levels of government appearing alongside representatives of the private sector and nongovernmental organizations, as well as academia. Fountain was named among the 14 men and women selected from the category of academia.

Those included in the list were selected for their influence on the transition to digital governments, whether through policymaking, research, advocacy or other means. Nominations were submitted from hundreds of digital government experts from leading organizations, including 14 national digital services, The Alan Turing Institute, the intergovernmental Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations, Future Cities Catapult, USAID and the Open Government Partnership.

Apolitical is a global platform used by public servants and policymakers in more than 120 countries to connect with each other and to find original and curated content about what’s working in policymaking around the world on topics such as digital government and government innovation.

Original article published at UMass News & Media Relations. You can find the complete Apolitical list here.