Edward Tufte is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science at Yale University. He wrote, designed, and self-published The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, and Beautiful Evidence, which have received 40 awards for content and design. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Society for Technical Communication, and the American Statistical Association. He received his PhD in political Science from Yale University and BS and MS in statistics from Stanford University.On his own website, Tufte made the following comments on the appointment:
I will be serving on the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel. This Panel advises The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, whose job is to track and explain $787 billion in recovery stimulus funds:The others named to the Panel include Steven Koch, Chris Sale, and Malcolm K. Sparrow.
"The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with two goals:
To provide transparency in relation to the use of Recovery-related funds. To prevent and detect fraud, waste, and mismanagement. Earl E. Devaney was appointed by President Obama to serve as chairman of the Recovery Board. Twelve Inspectors General from various federal agencies serve with Chairman Devaney. The Board issues quarterly and annual reports to the President and Congress and, if necessary, "flash reports" on matters that require immediate attention. In addition, the Board maintains the Recovery.gov website so the American people can see how Recovery money is being distributed by federal agencies and how the funds are being used by the recipients.
Mission statement: To promote accountability by coordinating and conducting oversight of Recovery funds to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and to foster transparency on Recovery spending by providing the public with accurate, user friendly information."
I'm doing this because I like accountability and transparency, and I believe in public service. And it is the complete opposite of everything else I do. Maybe I'll learn something. The practical consequence is that I will probably go to Washington several days each month, in addition to whatever homework and phone meetings are necessary.