Stefaan G. Verhulst, Ph.D.


Governance Laboratory (GovLab)

Dr. Stefaan G. Verhulst is the Co-Founder of the Governance Laboratory (The GovLab), an action research center focused on transforming decision-making using advances in science and technology – including data and collective intelligence. He is also the Co-Founder and Principal Scientific Advisor of The DataTank, based in Brussels, a do-and-think tank that focuses on how to reuse data differently to serve the common good. 

In addition, he is a Research Professor at the Center for Urban Science and Progress at the Tandon School of Engineering of New York University; the Editor-in-Chief of the open-access journal Data & Policy (Cambridge University Press); the Research Director of the MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance; Chair of the Data for Children Collaborative with Unicef; a member of the High-Level Expert Group to the European Commission on Business-to-Government Data Sharing; and of the Expert Group to Eurostat on using Private Sector data for Official Statistics. In addition, he is also a member of the UNESCO Information Ethics Working Group; a Researcher at the ISI Foundation; a Member of SMIT at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), and a Senior Advisor to the Markle Foundation where he spent more than a decade as Chief of Research.  

In 2018 he was recognized as one of the 10 Most Influential Academics in Digital Government globally (by the global policy platform Apolitical). 

Previously at Oxford University, he was the UNESCO Chairholder in Communications Law and Policy and co-founded and was the Head of the Program in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the Center for Socio-Legal Studies. He was the Socio-Legal Fellow at Wolfson College and is still an emeritus fellow at Oxford. He also taught for several years at the London School of Economics and was Co-Founder and Co-Director of the International Media and Info-Comms Policy and Law Studies (IMPS) at the University of Glasgow School of Law. 

He has published widely – including seven books- and his writings and work have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Project Syndicate, Wall Street Journal, and The Conversation (among many other outlets). He is asked regularly to present at international conferences including, for instance, TED, Collision, and the UN World Data Forum. Numerous organizations have sought his counsel – including the WorldBank; IDB, CAP, USAID, DFID, IDRC, AFP, the European Commission, Council of Europe, the World Economic Forum, UNICEF, OECD, UN-OCHA, UNDP, UNESCO and several other international and national private and public organizations. He is also a Linkedin Learning instructor seeking to democratize the practice of data stewardship globally.