I am a Data Scientist at the Sorenson Impact Center, an applied academic institution that is part of the University of Utah’s Business School. My job is to help governments, non-profits, and philanthropists use data to better address difficult social problems. (DISCLAIMER: I don’t speak for the Center or any of its affiliates on this blog. These are my opinions.)

Previously, I served as the Chief of Staff and Chief Data Scientist to Mayor Joe Curtatone of Somerville, Massachusetts, and as an Innovations in American Government Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.


Daniel Paul Hadley

93 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA


Harvard University

Master of Urban Planning - 2010

Master of Theological Studies - 2008

University of Utah

B.A. - 2006


Sorenson Impact Center

Data Scientist

I work with organizations around the western US to help them more easily access and analyze data.

City of Somerville

Chief of Staff - 2014 to 2016

I directly oversee cabinet-level positions, managing the day-to-day operations of the City for the Mayor. I also help formulate policies and long-term plans, and in my spare time play the role of Chief Data Scientist.

Analyst/Director of the Mayor’s Office of Innovation and Analytics - 2010 to 2014

Made policy recommendations based on financial and statistical data analysis; Oversaw a team of analysts and public outreach specialists; Facilitated regular meetings between the Mayor and department heads;

Envision Utah

Community Service Fellow - Summer 2009

Worked with stakeholders to implement a plan for the Jordan River; Researched funding mechanisms, negotiated between parties, and informed stakeholders; Created a model form-based code; Authored policy documents on urban planning topics.

Harvard College

Teaching Fellow - Spring 2009

Taught section for a Harvard Core course titled “Designing the American City”


My focus is using data to create intelligent public policy. I enjoy writing code, and consider myself advanced in R, with a passable knowledge of Python, Git, Bash (Linux), HTML, CSS, and Markdown. Many of my favorite projects involve machine learning and statistical modeling.

On the management side, I have overseen teams of highly technical analysts and department heads. I often engage with the public, journalists, leaders from the social sector, and academics.

Selected Presentations

  • “Saving Taxpayer Dollars with R,” EARL Conference, Boston, MA, 2016.

  • “The Top 10 Mistakes Civic Startups Make When Pitching to Government,” Code For America Summit, Oakland, CA, 2015. (Co-presented with Joe Curtatone, Skye Stewart, and Denise Taylor)

  • “Responsive Cities,” Panel Discussion, Harvard University, Law School, October 28, 2014.

  • “Using Data to Transform Government,” IDEASpHERE Conference, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, May 15, 2014. (Co-facilitated with Linda Bilmes and Joe Curtatone)

  • “Beyond Excel: An Overview of Advanced Tools,” New England StatNet Conference, August 20, 2013.


  • Helping to facilitate second annual “Innovation Field Lab: Public Problem Solving in Three Massachusetts Cities” (Harvard MLD 621M)

  • Annual invited guest lecturer at Tufts and the Harvard Graduate School of Design

  • Manage student teams for Linda Bilmes’s class “Advanced Applied Management, Operations, and Budgeting” (Harvard MLD-412M)


  • “A Mormon Megaproject,” MONU Magazine on Urbanism, v.1, n.10

  • “The Rebbe in the New York Times,” Queens College Journal of Jewish Thought, Spring, 2007

Technical Projects

Mayor’s Dashboard: Displays key data of interest to residents of Somerville. The daily tab is an algorithm-driven dashboard with charts and maps of variables that changed in statistically significant ways.

RecidiViz: A Shiny app to simulate and analyze the rate at which parolees return to prison following their release.

Gone Model: An experiment that uses machine learning to detect stylometric differences between fictional characters from the same author. Currently expanding to lengthier texts.

Selected Press

“What This Salt Lake City Heatmap Tells Us About Drug Crime”, CityLab, August 11, 2017.

“Is Utah’s prison reform working?”, Deseret News, August 5th, 2017.

“What the Mayor of Somerville Can Do With His Smartphone”, Next City, July 13, 2016.

“Survey says: Happiness grows in Somerville”, the Boston Globe, February 9, 2016.

“Cities Using 311 Data in Novel Ways Discover Drawbacks”, Government Technology, January 6, 2016.

“Only 6% of Cities are Preparing for Driverless Cars”, Fortune, December 2, 2015.

“This car will park itself: Somerville, Audi prepare to test self-driving tech”, Beta Boston, November 11, 2015.

“A Medium-Size City’s Approach to Data”, Route Fifty, November 5, 2015.

“Experiencing Innovation”, HKS Ash Center, October 29, 2015.

“Elon Musk and dozens of Mass. technologists call for a killer-robot ban”, Boston Business Journal, July 28, 2015.

“This City Used Big Data to Beat a Big Rat Problem”, Next City, June 23, 2015.

“Somerville using drones to survey snowy building roofs”, the Boston Globe, February 19, 2015.

“From ‘Slummerville’ to Somerville”, Boston Magazine, November 25, 2014.

“Some in Somerville worry it’s become too hip for its own good”, the Boston Globe, Aug 23, 2013.

“How Can a City Measure Its Happiness?”, Next City, August 19, 2014.

“Here comes StateStat”, Commonwealth Magazine, Oct 11, 2012.

“How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know”, The New York Times, April 30th, 2011.