Hollie Russon Gilman
Hollie Russon Gilman
Democratic Innovation, Civic Participation, Technology, Open Governance
Dr. Hollie Russon Gilman holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University. Areas of Interest and Advance Study Include: Democratic Innovation, Civic Participation, Technology, Open Governance. She holds an A.B. from the University of Chicago with highest honors in Political Science. Her research interests include the impact of technology on government transparency and accountability, citizen engagement, and implementing democratic innovations. Her dissertation, "The Participatory Budgeting: Participatory Budgeting Comes to America," examines the largest implementation of Participatory Budgeting in the United States during the pilot project year in New York City. In this dissertation, she outlines the promise and perils of bringing Participatory Budgeting, a United Nations and World Bank "best practice" for development, from the Global South to the Democratic North. Her findings were published in the Fall 2012 Journal of Public Deliberation in an article titled "Transformative Deliberations: Participatory Budgeting in the United States."She is a Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Innovation and Governance at the Kennedy School of Government where she works as a member of Harvard's Transparency Policy Project (TPP). For near three years, Hollie has been working with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, funded through the Open Society Foundation, to provide strategy with NGOs in the developing world for the most effective ways to use Internet Communication (ICT) for greater citizen power in holding government transparent and accountable. She maintained the "blogbeat" of the network of NGOs, conducted field research in India and Eastern Europe, and planed and facilitated an annual bridging session of leading transparency NGOs and technologists. She has authored several documents outlining how technological interventions alone are not sufficient, rather the correct tools must be combined with strategic understanding of geopolitics. An article on this topic, "Six Models for Internet & Politics" (co-authored with Archon Fung et al.), is in the International Studies Review Spring 2013.As part of Hollie's interests in using ICT for greater democratic innovation, Hollie has been a consultant with the World Bank Institute's ICT4Gov Division, leading a research monitoring and evaluation team on the largest implementation of mobiles for Participatory Budgeting worldwide. Hollie worked directly with bank partners on the ground in Africa and Latin America to design ideal surveys modules and implementations of participatory budgeting with mobile technology.At the Kennedy School's Ash Center, Hollie focuses on projects to engage citizens and strengthen democratic and open governance. One such platform is MyFairElections.net, a crowd sourced platform for election poll experience, she helped re-launch. The goal of the platform is to deepen democratic opportunities within traditional electoral politics. Hollie works on Participedia.net, the largest repository of data concerning participatory democracy world wide. For Participedia.net Hollie runs an international research team, manages site content, designs digital engagement campaigns, and case protocol including authoring several cases. Hollie is working on a Harvard Executive Session, with Archon Fung, Anna Burger, and Marshall Ganz, to re-examine and revitalize citizen Engagement in the U.S.Hollie is currently a Graduate Fellow at Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and is previously a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a fellow for the Center for the Study of the American Presidency and Congress.
Ash Center 254, Kennedy School of Government, 124 Mt. Auburn St. Cambridge, MA 02138