August 12, 2020Event Recap

2020 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence National Launch

State/ 2020/

On August 12th, 2020, Results for America and the National Governors Association co-hosted the virtual release of the 2020 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence (State Standard of Excellence). In the 2020 State Standard of Excellence, Results for America identified 169 leading and promising practices, policies, programs, and systems for using data and evidence that were in effect as of June 2020 in 35 state governments (read the press release).

The event highlighted the efforts of all state governments to use data and evidence to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, increase economic mobility, and promote racial equity. Specifically, the event recognized seven states that are leading the way with their use of evidence and data: Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington. Results for America also recognized four Honor Roll States for their data-driven policymaking: Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

The event featured a conversation with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Cecilia Muñoz, co-chair of Results for America’s State Standard of Excellence Advisory Committee, about how Minnesota is leveraging data and evidence to respond to COVID-19. “We need to factor every decision we make through the lens of equity,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said. “Data helps us have that conversation… Data lets you ask the right questions and make decisions to improve lives.”

Following the interview with the Governor, a panel of state government officials also described how their states are leveraging data and evidence to mount effective COVID-19 responses and explained the connections between data, evidence, and equity in policymaking. The panel featured:

  • Dr. Matthew Cartter, State Epidemiologist, Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut
  • Allison Jones, Deputy Secretary of Policy and Planning, Governor’s Office, State of Pennsylvania
  • Frank Kohstall, Chief Data Advocate, State of Ohio
  • Christin Lotz, Director, Office of Evidence and Impact, Department of Finance and Administration, State of Tennessee
  • Dr. Brook Meiller, Deputy Superintendent of School Support & Improvement, Oklahoma State Department of Education, State of Oklahoma 
  • Moderator: Cecilia Muñoz, Senior Fellow, Results for America; Vice President, Public Interest Technology and Local Initiatives, New America; Former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs (Obama Administration)

Other Speakers Included:

  • Lauren LarsonDirector, Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, State of Colorado
  • Weston MerrickImpact Evaluation Unit Manager, State of Minnesota
  • Adam JarvisDeputy Director, Customer Focused Government, State of Tennessee
  • Rachel Stone, Chief Data Officer, Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, State of Utah
  • Mandeep Kaundal, Deputy Director, Results Washington, State of Washington
  • Bill McBride, Executive Director, National Governors Association
  • Tim Blute, Director, NGA Center For Best Practices, National Governors Association
  • Michele Jolin, Co-Founder and CEO, Results for America
  • David Medina, Co-Founder and COO, Results for America
  • Jed Herrmann, Vice President, State and Federal Policy Implementation, Results for America
  • Josh Inaba, Manager, State and Federal Policy, Results for America