I think it’s pretty cool that I am an American who works in San Francisco, the capital of technology, for Ushahidi, an incredible organization with origins in Kenya. I am the COO at Ushahidi, where we work to change the way information flows by building open source software for human rights reporting, crisis response, and government transparency. In addition to software, Ushahidi has also built the iHub, the nerve center of Kenya’s tech community, and the BRCK, a redesign of connectivity for the developing world.
In 2012 I was selected as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, working with Todd Park – the Chief Technology Officer of the USA, where I worked on open data for international development. I stayed on after the fellowship as the first Chief Data Officer of USAID. It was thrilling, to say the least. I worked between the White House and USAID to develop tools and strategies for liberating data to fuel entrepreneurship and innovation to solve big problems around the world, more here. Along with the other fellows we helped to draft and get passed the Open Data Policy.
I find creativity in the intersection of disciplines and enjoy acts of acrobatic stretching between projects, so at one point I also helped start a robotics company. Through 2013 I was the Chief Executive Officer of Fellow Robots.
I used to work for the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) throughout Asia and Australia, where I helped to craft business models that make clean energy financially feasible in emerging nations. I focused on solar in Malaysia, rural electrification in India, waste management in Indonesia, carbon capture and storage in Australia, and energy efficiency in Thailand.
I attended Singularity University‘s 2011 Graduate Studies Program at NASA Ames.
I live in that beautiful bay area on the East Coast of the Pacific Ocean.
Some random facts that result in good stories:
- I danced off Justin Timberlake in a Reggae bar on Frenchman Street in New Orleans (and won).
- I meditated with the Dalai Lama at his home monastery in Mcleod Ganj.
- I missed my meeting with President Obama because I was on my honeymoon in New Zealand. I think he would have approved.
- I slept on the floor of my dorm room for most of college because it was easier to wake up.
- I lived in a Zen monastery in Kyoto, Japan for three months.
Thanks to Thatch for all the website help. Banner photo credit to my Dad, John Manning. Many thanks to my parents, sister, and grandparents whose artistic taste, thirst for knowledge, and insatiable energy are a constant inspiration. And to Sunisa Nardone, my person, whose advice, wisdom, and support is loved and cherished.
Contact Nat (at) ushahidi (dot) com for speaking inquiries.
What I have been up