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CHICAGO NORC at the University of Chicago announced new additions to the NORC Expert Panel on Firearms Data Infrastructure. Following the success of the panel’s initial October 2019 meeting, Nancy Potok, PhD, and Nola Joyce, will join a roster of 12 experts in firearms and gun violence research who were invited to participate in an independent panel commissioned by Arnold Ventures and staffed by NORC.

We are extremely pleased to be adding someone of Nancy’s and Nola’s caliber and experience to the expert panel,” said John K. Roman, Ph.D., senior fellow in the Economics, Justice and Society department at NORC. They possess the knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment to develop an objective and sustainable firearms data infrastructure.”

Dr. Potok, the former chief statistician of the United States, brings a wide array of experience working in the federal government. She is also the former Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Affairs in the U.S. Department of Commerce, former Associate Director for Demographic Programs at the Census Bureau, and was the Principal Associate Director and CFO in charge of field operations, IT, and administration during the 2000 Census. Dr. Potok is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and her expertise extends beyond survey research to include using data for systems change.

Joyce retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 2016 as Deputy Commissioner of Organizational Services, Strategy, and Innovation. Throughout her career, she led major organizational change efforts using research and analysis to advance public policy and the use of technology to improve program impacts. She is now a partner and principal consultant with 21CP Solutions and a private contractor. Joyce works with police departments, cities, and the federal government to help organizations increase their performance levels.

Nancy and Nola are two of the finest minds in data analysis and criminal justice, and a tremendous addition to our panel of highly respected experts,” said Asheley Van Ness, Director of Criminal Justice at Arnold Ventures. Their diverse expertise will help advance our collection and analysis of firearms data, technically and strategically, and will undoubtedly contribute to our project of evidence-based policymaking that can end the national gun violence epidemic and save American lives.”

At the second convening taking place today, the expert panel will hear testimony from a diverse group of subject-matter experts who will present case studies about infrastructure development and architecture, and sustainable systems science. After testimony is received, the panel will produce a report — Promising Practices, Programs and Policies in Data Infrastructure” — highlighting best practices in data infrastructure and detailing data needs to facilitate and inform critical research investigations.

The expert panel will meet one last time in spring 2020 to create a final report that will serve as a set of recommendations for the development of a firearms data infrastructure, including a prioritized list of future projects. This information will provide empirical support for the public, researchers, and local, state, and national policymakers.

About NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


About Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. Its core mission is to invest in evidence-based solutions that maximize opportunity and minimize injustice.


Contact: For more information, contact Eric Young for NORC at young-​eric@​norc.​org or (703) 2176814 (cell).