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Daniel X. O’Neil is the Director of Product Development and Business Strategy for Ad Hoc,  a small software company focused on delivering and operating fast, stable, and well-designed services on behalf of U.S. federal and state government that enables agencies to provide transactional and informational services to consumers.

O’Neil has been a leading writer, convener, and practitioner in the American open data, open government, and civic tech fields. He’s written widely on community-based user testing and commissioned  & edited books on civic tech and community technology design modes. He’s been named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ Tech 50,  served as a member of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, and was a White House  Champion of Change for Technology and Innovation .

O’Neil has helped launch some of the most influential projects in civic tech, including CTA Alerts, EveryBlock, CityPayments, and the CUTGroup.  In the late 80s and early 90s he was a member of the thriving Chicago Poetry scene, where he wrote books, produced plays, and  did performance tours across the country. He’s a widely published photographer, with tens of thousands of images published as Creative Commons. He serves on the boards of Voqal and the Sunlight Foundation. He has a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. See more at

Prior to Ad Hoc, O’Neil was the founding Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to improving lives in Chicago through technology. He raised millions of dollars in support of community technology throughout the region, and helped conceive and implement programs like Foodborne Chicago, Youth-Led Tech,  Connect Chicago,, Crime and Punishment in Chicago, Chicago School of Data, and the Documenters and Developer Resources program. While at Smart Chicago, he invented the Civic User Testing Group (CUTGroup),  a new model for UX testing, digital skills development, and community engagement in civic tech. Download or purchase his book on the methodology here.

Prior to Smart Chicago, O’Neil was a co-founder of and People Person for EveryBlock, a neighborhood news and discussion site serving 16 cities. He was responsible for uncovering new data sets through online research and working with local governments. In August 2009 EveryBlock was purchased by  After acquisition, O’Neil ran Business Development for EveryBlock, working on advertising, content partnerships, and integration with the core site. During this time period, O’Neil participated in the open data/ open government movement, advising governments and candidates on policy.

Prior to EveryBlock, O’Neil spent 10 years as an Internet strategist and project manager for Streams Online Media, one of the first web design firms in Chicago. He continued this work at Dunn Solutions Group after their purchase of Streams in 2001, with a focus on technology requirements training and the development of Web-based tools for training, e-commerce, and content management. He also created a number of sites for municipalities, including the first Web site for the Chicago Inspector General, the person in charge of rooting out corruption in Chicago city government.

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