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Brand Niemann, early data scientist, dead at 74

Brand Niemann Brand Niemann

Brand Niemann, a former senior enterprise architect and data scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, died last week.

Niemann retired in 2010 after 30 years of public service, largely with EPA. But the scope of his work went well beyond the agency. In the past 15 years, Niemann was one of the federal community's subject-matter experts on XML, service-oriented architecture, semantic interoperability and other technologies that have provided the underpinnings for the current generation of digital services.

In a January 2005 cover story, FCW singled out Niemann as one of the federal government's "unconventional thinkers."

In an interview at the time, Mark Forman, who had recently served as the first administrator for e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget, praised Niemann's tireless work to help agencies understand the role of standards in supporting the emerging field of e-government.

"He was one of those guys really focused on leveraging open standards like XML," Forman said at the time. "That was critical not just for e-government but for many of the missions of government."

After retiring from EPA, Niemann took the helm as director and senior data scientist at the Semantic Community, which focuses on applying data science principles to help federal agencies and other organizations make information more accessible and useful. He also founded the Federal Big Data Working Group to encourage collaboration among government data scientists.

Services for Niemann are being held Feb. 6 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fairfax, Va. 

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Feb 04, 2016 at 10:44 AM


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