Katya is working to make data and technology more effective tools for advocacy and reform toward better local democracies.
Katya Abazajian is an open government advocate and researcher working to help cities and states use data for stronger local democracies.
Katya comes to the Beeck Center from the Sunlight Foundation where she led the Open Cities program and launched innovative work on open data, open contracting, and community engagement in collaboration with the What Works Cities Initiative and the Open Contracting Partnership. As Open Cities Director, she developed methods like Tactical Data Engagement to engage communities and generate impact through design research and open data. She also led pilot work to bring the international Open Contracting Data Standard to U.S. cities through direct community-centered technical assistance with city governments. In her previous work with the Beeck Center, she developed recommendations for State Chief Data Officers to leverage state data for economic recovery from COVID-19. In the past, she has also conducted research on decentralized data governance and data for community impact with groups like Development Gateway, the Mozilla Foundation, and January Advisors. Katya is an affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.