Tara Dawson McGuinness

Tara Dawson McGuinness

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Speaker Profile

Tara Dawson McGuinness works at the intersection of policy creation, implementation, and citizen and community voices. She has worked at New America since leaving the Obama administration, where she oversaw the federal teams working alongside city, non-profit, and philanthropic leaders in Detroit, Baltimore, and Flint, and many other communities. McGuinness researches how networks, technology, management and data practices can be used to tackle inequity and solve other challenges. She tweets at @taradmcguinness. 

In 2013, McGuinness was tapped by President Obama to run the organizing and communications effort to sign up millions of Americans for healthcare. Her innovative use of data and new media platforms was critical to providing 15 million people with insurance in the first six months of open enrolment. She also served as a senior adviser in the White House Office of Management and Budget where she oversaw the federal government’s initiatives to support cities and towns. While at the White House she directed the White House Task Force on Community Solutions, a team of Cabinet members working to improve how agencies worked together, using data in new ways to tackle entrenched poverty and to deliver results in communities across the country.

More recently, Tara was involved in the transition team that saw Joe Biden into Presidential office in 2021. She is the author (with Hana Schank) of Power to the Public: The Promise of Public Interest Technology, which Obama described as “Worth a read for anyone who cares about making change happen. You can see her speaking alongside Hana Schank at New America here