Lea Shanley founded and directed the Commons Lab within the Wilson Center's Science and Technology Innovation Program from 2011-2014. Trained as a geospatial data scientist and policy expert, her research has focused on improving government services and empowering communities through open and participatory innovation, new technologies and social media. While at the Wilson Center, Lea directed the production of 16 publications, contributed to seven external publications, and organized 24 roundtables and workshops on the social, legal, and ethical implications of crowdsourcing, including intellectual property, privacy, cybersecurity, and liability.

Lea is one of the chief organizers and co-founders of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science, a groundbreaking effort to enable federal agencies to engage the public in collective problem solving. She also helped to launch the new Citizen Science Association.

In 2010, Lea was a Fellow on the Mapping Science Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, where she co-directed two consensus reports: Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource; and New Research Directions for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. In 2009, Lea was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science Fellow and primary science adviser to the Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space, where she crafted and negotiated legislation addressing earth observation, oceans issues, and hazards research and mitigation.

Previously, Lea conducted community-based participatory action research in geographic information science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This research engaged local and tribal communities in the development and use of GIS-based decision support systems, enabling collaborative decision-making for improved land use planning, natural resource management, coastal management, precision agriculture, and emergency management.

Contact Lea on Linkedin here.