Who is Bridgit Donnelly?

I always overthink how I want to present myself to the world. I’ve owned so many different identities over the year that I find it difficult to craft one unified description of “Bridgit”. (Full disclosure: I also planned to have much more time to think about and write this post, but these first days back at grad school have been pretty crazy)

I took this stab at a complete picture of “Bridgit” as a professional bio exercise for school:

Bridgit Donnelly is a graduate student at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and a candidate for an MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy, expected in June 2016. She currently serves as the Community Manager for the Center for Data Science and Public Policy (DSaPP) where she is responsible for website and newsletter management, as well as promoting engagement among alumni of the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) fellowship program.

Bridgit began her career in politics as a Field Organizer for the Virginia Coordinated Campaign in 2008, working to elect Barack Obama, Mark Warner and Democratic congressional candidates. She spent four additional campaign cycles in Virginia – Field Director for Mark Keam for Delegate (2009), Deputy Field Director and Political Director for Fairfax Coordinated Campaign (2011), Regional Field Director and Regional GOTV Director for Obama for America (2012), and Political Director for Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor (2013).

Seeking to bring her political background to a data role, Bridgit attended the New Organizing Institute’s (NOI) Advanced Data Bootcamp in June 2013. She then served as NOI’s Data Training Manager in 2014 where she successfully planned and executed her own weeklong political Data Bootcamp for 41 participants, recruiting over 75 data professionals as trainers and overseeing development of over 60 hours of curriculum. In that role, she spearheaded a diversity initiative by actively recruiting women and people of color as trainers and participants. As a result, 57% of trainers and 71% of participants at Data Bootcamp were from those targeted populations.

While at Harris, Bridgit has remained committed to her passion for growing the data community through training. She ran two SQL trainings for General Assembly Chicago, as well as developed and ran a university-wide training-based hackathon. Currently, she is a Code Camp Teaching Assistant for Harris and is supporting curriculum development for Wellstone Action’s upcoming Data Bootcamp.

After graduation, Bridgit hopes to return to the east coast to serve in a data project management role at an organization that develops data-driven solutions for challenging people-centered problems.

Bridgit has a BA in Political Science from Barnard College, Columbia University where she was an Athena Leadership Scholar.


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