Coe welcomes DJ Patil for 2024 Contemporary Issues Forum

DJ PatilCoe College is pleased to announce DJ Patil as the 2024 K. Raymond Clark Contemporary Issues Forum speaker. Patil will be on Coe’s campus Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m., and his speaking engagement in Sinclair Auditorium is open to the public.

DJ Patil is considered to be one the most influential data scientists in the world. He was appointed by President Barack Obama as the first U.S. chief data scientist and was tasked with making the U.S. Federal Government a data-driven enterprise, establishing nearly 40 chief data officer roles across an array of departments and programs. He helped establish new health care programs including the Precision Medicine Initiative and the Cancer Moonshot, criminal justice reforms including the Data-Driven Justice and Police Data Initiatives that cover more than 94 million Americans and led policy efforts related to national data. As an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow for the Department of Defense, he directed efforts to leverage social network analysis to anticipate emerging threats to the U.S.

In the private sector, Patil led product teams at RelateIQ, was a founding board member for Crisis Text Line which uses technologies to provide on-demand mental and crisis support and was a member of the venture firm Greylock Partners. He was also chief scientist, chief security officer and head of analytics and data product teams at the LinkedIn Corporation, where he co-coined the term “data scientist.” He has held a number of roles at Skype, PayPal and eBay. Until recently, he was the chief technology officer at Devoted Health, which aims to make health care easier, more affordable and more caring. Patil is currently a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland, where his research focuses on nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory and he has helped start a major research initiative on numerical weather prediction. 

Patil was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, which is the highest honor the department bestows on a civilian, for his extensive work in national security initiatives. In 2014, he was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, and he is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

Tickets are available at Coe’s online box office. The general public can purchase tickets for $10, while non-Coe students and seniors can purchase tickets for $5.

Established by the late K. Raymond Clark ’30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. The forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Poland President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau, ecology expert Jared Diamond, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy George Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning global health expert Laurie Garrett, legendary soccer player Abby Wambach, leading commentator on race Jelani Cobb, environmentalists and social entrepreneurs Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews, pioneering astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, MIT AgeLab Director Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin, Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen and Negro Leagues Museum President Bob Kendrick and influential data scientist DJ Patil.

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