DATA SKILLS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT WORKING GROUP
Chief Data Officer, United States Department of Agriculture
Christopher Alvares serves as the Chief Data Officer (CDO) at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this role, he is responsible for developing strategies that enable USDA to fully leverage its data as a strategic asset, improving organizational decision-making and outcomes for citizens. He is also a member of the Federal Chief Data Officer Council working with other CDOs to improve the use of data across government.
Chris started his career in the private sector, working for several small biotechnology companies analyzing the relationships between genetics and human diseases. He worked in the labs generating data and quickly moved into genomic analytics. Chris became the Director of a data analytics staff providing genomic analytics services to other biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients.
Chris began Federal service in 2008 as a data analyst for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). He helped grow and build out the analytics office from a staff of five to over 20 which supported a wide range of analytics and reporting for FSIS. Chris moved into leadership roles as Branch Chief and then Director of the Data Analytics and Integration Group in FSIS. Chris also served on the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration with representatives from FSIS, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to advance analytics in foodborne illness. In 2018, Chris became a Special Advisor to the General Services Administration (GSA) Center of Excellence (CoE), leading a team to modernize data analytics at USDA. Chris joined the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) as Deputy Chief Data Officer in 2019 where he has been continuing the analytics modernization across USDA.
Chris graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science degree and earned a master’s from Johns Hopkins University while working. He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for a Democratic Society program.