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Jamaican appointed deputy data chief in US Department of Commerce

Published:Sunday | August 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Dr Tyrone Grandison

Dr Tyrone Grandison, a Jamaica-born computer scientist, has been appointed deputy chief data officer in the United States Department of Commerce. The appointment was announced on July 30.

Grandison's appointment forms part of the establishment of the Commerce Data Corps, an initiative to help agencies within the department to leverage technology to create and develop projects.

Reacting to his appointment, Grandison said he was excited about the opportunity.

"This is a career high for me. I am more interested and honoured by the fact that I am getting an opportunity to contribute to helping business grow in America, and that is the possibility that I am excited about," he told The Gleaner.

In outlining what his job will entail, Grandison said: "It's a fairly new position, and right now what they do is that they see if all the data assets in a particular office are being used optimally and if they are available and accessible to organisations that need it, so in terms of Government, that is going to mean ensuring that all the data systems are up to date and current and that all the data that is used by the public is accessible to companies and the different applications from it."


Give back to Jamaica


Grandison, who is a past student of Duhaney Park Primary, Jamaica College and the University of the West Indies, said he would be using his position to continue to give back to Jamaica.

"I am all about giving back so right now I am an adjunct professor at the University of Technology and I will be setting up a scholarship at the University of the West Indies for computer science," he said. "I also have this call out for at least three years to web developers that if they need advice or some sort of consulting then I am happy to come in and give of my expertise. I have been doing this for the last seven years so that is not going to change."


Pioneering and impactful


Grandison has more than 20 years' experience in software engineering, security and privacy. His work in database security and privacy has been internationally recognised as pioneering and impactful.

In addition to relational data privacy and security, he has created and successfully led research and product initiatives in privacy-preserving mobile data management, private social network analysis, text analytics and healthcare management systems.

Grandison's career started as a software engineer in Jamaica. He received a Bachelor of Science in computer studies (computer science and economics) from the University of the West Indies in 1997, a master's of science in software engineering in 1998, and a doctorate in computer science from the Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine in London in 2003.