Lilian Coral

Head of Technology and Democracy Programs

New America

Lilian Coral is the Vice President, Technology & Democracy Programs, Head of the Open Technology Institute. Coral leads both New America’s Open Technology Institute and the Technology and Democracy Cluster, New America’s core cluster encompassing programs and initiatives that focus on technology and other innovations as tools through which people advance democracy, sustain and strengthen human rights, reduce inequality, improve lives, and sustain the planet.

Prior to joining New America, Coral was Knight Foundation’s director of national strategy + technology innovation, where she developed the foundation’s citizen-centered Smart Cities strategy and managed the national portfolio of investments. Totaling more than $55 million across more than 120 grantees, the portfolio centered around data accessibility and trust, urban mobility, and technology in public spaces.

Coral joined Knight after serving as chief data officer for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, leading the mayor’s directive on open data beyond the lens of transparency and towards his vision of a data-driven Los Angeles.

Coral managed the growth of Los Angeles’ open data program to 1,100 public datasets, the expansion of the use of data science and analytics, and the development of more than 15 user-centered digital services. Of note, was her development of the GeoHub, a first-of-its kind data management solution for integrating geospatial information across the City of Los Angeles’ 41 departments.

Coral has spent nearly 20 years working on a wide range of policy and technology issues and has worked with labor unions, NGOs, foundations and local, state and federal government to transform the way government uses data and technology to serve its citizens.

Coral has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of California, Irvine and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a native of Colombia, a place from where much of her inspiration for innovation and social justice emerged.