Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Esteemed Economist Larry Summers to Advise OpenGov

June 18, 2015 – Zac Bookman


At OpenGov, we are committed to engaging the best minds in technology, government, and finance to help shape the future of governing. Few people in the United States are as well-suited to provide guidance to OpenGov as our newest advisor, Lawrence H. Summers.

Larry has worked at the intersection of government and economics for decades, most notably serving as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton, Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama, and Chief Economist of the World Bank. The role of U.S. Treasury Secretary isn’t an easy one – the Secretary is responsible for managing federal finances and protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system.

There are few people who have been so involved, at the highest levels, with federal budgets, economic policy, and management in the federal government. Add to that, his tenure as president of Harvard University, and you get a sense of the magnitude of Larry’s experience.

We asked Larry why he’s joining OpenGov as an Advisor. Here’s what he had to say:

(ZB) What do you find most compelling about OpenGov?

(LS) OpenGov employs some of the top minds in engineering and government finance – all dedicated to using technology to make governments more accountable and transparent to their citizens.

(ZB) How do you think the technology will have the biggest impact?

(LS) Governments – local governments in particular – touch our daily lives, but for too long, the government sector has been underserved by the tech industry. For decades, in order to make informed budgeting decisions, government officials would have to expend time and resources sifting through spreadsheets and examining line items. OpenGov is building cutting-edge business intelligence software for governments. This can be revolutionary, giving governments the power to track finances digitally and make data-driven budgeting decisions easily and efficiently.

(ZB) We’re in the midst of a movement toward greater financial transparency for governments – why now?

(LS) Citizens, well accustomed to getting information in digital formats, have come to expect the same from their government. The public is starting to focus not only on total dollar amounts their governments are spending, but exactly how that money is allocated. They want to know if their tax dollars are being put to use efficiently and in a way that improves their daily lives. That’s why OpenGov is so appealing to its local government customers, it gives governments the ability to show citizens their tax dollars at work.

As an advisor, Larry will provide valuable insight and guidance to help OpenGov further its mission to set a new standard for how governments analyze, share, and compare financial data. He joins an all-star group of advisors that includes: George Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State; Byron Dorgan, former U.S. Senator from North Dakota; Adrian Fenty, former Mayor of Washington DC; Mark Goines, former Senior VP of Marketing at Intuit who built TurboTax; Pete Peterson, Interim Dean of Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy; Charles Songhurst, former Head of Strategy and M&A at Microsoft; and Pierre Lamond, veteran venture capitalist from Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures.

The OpenGov financial analysis platform transforms government financial data into intuitive, interactive reports that make it easy to see how taxpayer money is collected and spent. The powerful cloud platform also adds value internally, equipping public administrators with the tools they need to analyze historical trends, manage current-year operations and plan for the future. Local government leaders across the country are standing up to join the movement for greater financial transparency – and we’re proud to have our platform powering over 300 governments coast-to-coast already.

Category: OpenGov Updates