About Us



From local neighborhoods and schools to courtrooms, hospitals, fields, and forests, data are everywhere, providing us the power to solve problems like never before. Communities large and small now have access to a wealth of data they can use to assess conditions, develop strategies and policies, evaluate impact, and make critical decisions. However, not all communities – particularly those that are small or rural – have the expertise or resources necessary to access and leverage complex data for real-world benefits.

With the support of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, five partner universities—University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, Iowa State University, and Oregon State University—and the universities’ respective Cooperative Extension Systems (CES), piloted a three-state initiative, “Towards A National Community Learning Network,” and utilized data science to solve complex, community challenges and advance economic mobility across Virginia, Iowa, and Oregon. This collaboration tested the viability of CES as a dissemination network to discover opportunities and build data-driven governance at local levels where relevant expertise may be lacking.

Through UVA’s Biocomplexity Institute’s established Community Learning through Data Driven-Discovery process and each of the universities’ Data Science for the Public Good Young Scholars programs, the initiative built partnerships with CES professionals. The aim was to equip them with the skills and knowledge to partner with local stakeholders and their associated land-grant universities in Virginia, Iowa, and Oregon to bring data-driven solutions to rural communities.

Community Learning through Data-Driven Discovery (CLD3) Strategy Group (2022-present)

Cathie Woteki

University of Virginia, Distinguished Biocomplexity Institute Professor and Iowa State University. USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, (2010-2017): [email protected]

Stephanie Shipp

University of Virginia. Acting Director of the Social and Decision Analytics Division, Biocomplexity Institute: [email protected]

Cassandra Dorius

Iowa State University. Associate Professor and Director of Iowa’s CLD3 Initiative: [email protected]

Lindsey Shirley

Colorado State University. Deputy Director of Colorado Cooperative Extension; Associate Vice President for Engagement and Outreach: [email protected]

Sam Angima

Oregon State University. Associate Dean of Extension: [email protected]

Andrew Behnke

Texas State University. Director of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences: [email protected]

Rich Bonanno

North Carolina State University. Director North Carolina Cooperative Extension; Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: [email protected]

Mike Gutter

Virginia Tech. Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension; Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: [email protected]

Chadwick Higgins

University of University of Missouri, Interim Vice Chancellor Ext/Engagement & Interim Chief Engagement Officer, Office of Extension and Engagement: [email protected]

Brian Kowalkowski

College of Menominee Nation. Director of Extension; Dean of Continuing Education: [email protected]

Mike Lambur

Virginia Cooperative Extension Emeritus: [email protected]

Scott Reed

Oregon State University. Director of Oregon Cooperative Extension, 2005-2019: [email protected]

Maureen Kelly Moseman

JD, consultant, Moseman & Associates LLC, former Director of REE Congressional Relations at USDA: [email protected]

Advancing Economic Mobility Project Leadership (2020-2021)

Sallie Keller

Principal Investigator, University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute, Division Director, Social and Decision Analytics, Distinguished Professor in Biocomplexity, Professor of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine: [email protected]

Stephanie Shipp

Co-Principal Investigator, University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute Division Deputy Director, Social and Decision Analytics, Research Professor: [email protected]

Cassandra Dorius

Co-Principal Investigator, Iowa State University, Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies: [email protected]

National Advisory Panel (2019-2022)

Catherine E. Woteki, Ph.D.

Professor, Iowa State University, Distinguished Institute Professor, Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia

Richard M. Klemme, Ph.D.

Former Executive Director for Extension, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, Former Dean and Director, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension

Roger Rennekamp

Extension Health Director, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities

Sarah Nusser, Ph.D.

Vice President for Research, Iowa State University

John Lawrence, Ph.D.

Vice President for Extension and Outreach, Iowa State University

Alan Kemp

Executive Director, Iowa League of Cities

Scott Reed, Ph.D.

Emeritus Vice-Provost for University Outreach and Engagement, Emeritus Director of Extension, Oregon State University

Edwin Jones, Ph.D.

Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension

Ray M. McKinnie, Ph.D.

Dean and 1890 Administrator, College of Agriculture, Virginia State University

Arthur Scott

Associate Legislative Director, National Association of Counties

Charlotte Baer, Ph.D.

Former National Program Leader, USDA/NIFA, Managing Director, Food and Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists