Patricia Cummens is the Director of Government Strategy and Policy Solutions at Esri where she provides guidance on state and national government initiatives and emerging policy issues with an eye to data driven approaches.
Recent areas of focus have been climate change, eliminating the digital divide, Sustainable Development Goals, and data democratization , honing in on strategies to make complex data not just accessible but understandable to decision makers. She has developed skills to bridge the gap between policy and technology, and works with executives including Governor’s offices, the White House, and US congress and international organizations to help them understand the value geospatial data, analysis and data visualizations bring to empower a data driven government.
Prior to joining Esri in 1998, she lead pioneering work with GIS technology during 15 years in state government; serving as the GIS Director for the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection after starting her career with the State of Minnesota, Land Management information Center.
She has been recognized by StateScoop as a ‘Top Woman in Tech’. She lends her unique perspective and thought leadership to several associations, serving on the US National Geospatial Advisory Committee, the National Governors’ Association Smart States Advisory Board and the American Meteorological Society’s Board on Executive Decision Support, and the Technical Advisory Committee to GEO’s Digital Earth Africa. She has held leadership roles, serving as chair of both the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) Corporate Advisory Councils. She holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Minnesota.