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Chief Data Officer
Ken Pfeil


Virginia Data Governance Overview and History

Data governance is exercising the appropriate authority and control over a data asset to ensure its integrity, quality, security, and availability to all qualified users. Proper governance offers many benefits including increased awareness of data holdings, improved organizational efficiency and productivity, more citizen-centered services, and better informed decision-making and evidence-based policymaking resulting in actionable intelligence. Governance increases the value of Commonwealth data assets by guiding and enabling its evolution from information to intelligence while promoting data discovery, exploration, integration, and sharing through the implementation of enterprise standards, policies, guidelines, and best practices.

On January 7, 2020, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 48 that established a data governance framework making Virginia a leader in data-driven policy, evidence-based decision-making, and outcome-based performance management. The primary goal of the framework is to help the Commonwealth be more responsive and make better, evidence-based decisions grounded in the data it collects and manages. The data governance framework includes the Virginia Data Advisory Commission, Executive Data Board, Data Governance Council, and Data Stewards Group.

During the 2021 General Assembly Special Session I, Senate Bill 1365 was passed that solidified Virginia's data governance framework and through § 2.2-203.2:4. the Office of Data Governance and Analytics (ODGA) was created within the Office of the Secretary of Administration. The ODGA is directed by the Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth and is charged with overseeing general data governance in the Commonwealth, as well as developing and managing the Commonwealth Data Trust. 

Executive Level

Executive Data Board

Strategic Level

Data Governance Council

Tactical Level

Agency Data Officers

Data Management Technical Team

Data Domain Managers/Experts

Business/Program Management

Geospatial Information Officers

Information System Security Officers

Information System Security Managers

Operational Level

Data Stewards

Data Scientists, Architects, Engineers, Analysts, and Consumers

Commonwealth of Virginia Data Governance History





  • State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) staff worked with the Office of the Attorney General to develop a model data-sharing agreement
  • SCHEV, DOE, the governor's office, and VITA worked to develop the SLDS proposal to the United states education department. This was funded in 2010.


  • Work began on developing VLDS, which was funded by the 2009 Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program of the United States Department of Education under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


  • Secretarial Committee on Data Sharing: Formed by the Secretaries of Technology and Health and Human Resources to explore opportunities and constraints for an enterprise data sharing.


  • The enterprise information architecture technology strategic plan was created. This was Virginia’s first strategic plan for data governance.
  • Data Exchange Standards for Interoperability: Approved by the CIO of the Commonwealth with more than 130 data exchange standards promoting interoperability and data sharing in a compliant, standardized manner. This would not be built until 2013. 
  • The Commonwealth Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) put language into the 2012 budget appropriation act stating that the Secretary of Technology would work with all cabinet secretaries and their agencies to standardize citizen data.
  • VLDS Project Launched as a partnership between the Governor's office and Virginia’s education, workforce, and information technology agencies to optimize Virginia’s data collection, reporting, and analytic capabilities beyond current capacities.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Secretary of Technology Secretarial Committee on Data Sharing Committee Report and Recommendations was published.
  • Version 1 of the VLDS Book of Data Governance published.
  • Legislation passed required SCHEV to publish wage data for graduates, matched with data from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).



  • Governor’s Datathon: Created to promote the use of open data and data analytics for solutions aligned with the Governor’s Policy Priorities; four events with teams representing state agencies, local governments, universities, and private industry.
  • Data Stewards Group: Formed to support agency engagement and implementation of the Commonwealth EIA Strategy; Executive, Functional (Business), and Technical Groups.
  • Commonwealth Data Internship Program: Implemented by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency to pair interns from state universities with state agencies to perform advanced analytics on “real-world” problems.
  • Commonwealth Open Data Portal: Launched to provide Virginians with a one-stop shop for the Commonwealth’s open data.



  • ED 7: Issued by Governor McAuliffe to promote greater utility and accessibility of data assets maintained by state agencies; recommendations covered open data, data sharing, ethical use, and economic development.
  • 2016 Datathon hosted by the Library of Virginia: Workforce Innovation.
  • Virginia Department of Education received funding for VLDS from US education department.


  • Governor’s Datathon to address the Opioid Crisis.
  • Governor’s Data Summit.
  • DCJS proposal to the DOJ TIPS grant for the opioid pilot project (later became FAACT).
  • Version 2.0 VLDS Book of Data Governance.
  • Admin responsibility for VLDS transferred State council of higher education. This was in the 2017 Acts of Assembly.
  • Privacy act change: allowed SCHEV to match data records with the federal government or its agents to obtain wage information of graduates outside of Virginia.


  • Senate Bill 580: Amended the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.)  to facilitate data sharing among state agencies and between the Commonwealth and political subdivisions; establishes Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth.
  • Virginia’s First CDO Appointed: Carlos Rivero.
  • The Opioid Pilot Project (FAACT) began/started for the Commonwealth of Virginia in Winchester.
  • CDO partnered with the Governor’s Chief Workforce Advisor to develop the Workforce Referral Portal.
  • Data Sharing and Analytics Advisory Committee was formed.
  • Administration of VLDS was codified as a Duty of the State Council.


  • The Opioid Pilot Project became FAACT and expanded to the Roanoke Valley.
  • ITRM Policies, Guidelines, and Standards.
  • DSAAC Report Submitted to the Governor and General Assembly.
  • CDIP leveraged to engage students in data analytics projects.
  • Library of Virginia hosts 2019 Datathon: Equity in Education.


January 2020

March 2020

April 2020

June 2020

August 2020

September 2020 

October 2020

  • The Office of the Chief Data Officer manages its first Virtual Virginia Datathon in collaboration with the Library of Virginia.


Feb 2021

April 2021

July 2021

September 2021

October 2021


April 2022

  • Ken Pfeil was appointed as Chief Data Officer by Governor Youngkin.

May 2022

July 2022

September 2022

  • Hampton Roads hosts its inaugural Datathon.
  • Virginia State Police joins the Commonwealth Data Trust.
  • CDO Ken Pfeil begins visiting Virginia localities to see where the Office of Data Governance and Analytics can be of assistance.

October 2022

November 2022

December 2022


January 2023