Joshua Ian Tauberer, Ph.D.

Professional Experience

2019–presentLARSA, Inc., Head of Product Development
LARSA, Inc. develops scientific software for civil and structural engineers for the design of highway bridges and other complex structures throughout the world. As Head of Product Development, I manage the development of LARSA’s legacy and emerging products and a small team of software engineers. I also regularly collaborate with the business and client services side of the company, including extensive work with clients and external partners. Prior to this full-time role, I also previously held other part-time individual contributor roles, as listed below, over the preceding 19 years.
2003–, Founder
In 2003 I founded what would become one of the world’s most visited free government information websites, The website helps 10 million Americans annually track the daily activities of the United States Congress in an easily consumable form, catalyzed the world-wide “open government data” movement in the mid 2000’s, and inspired Congress’s efforts in the 2010’s to create its first official “bulk data download” of legislative information. Over GovTrack’s long history, I created the first comprehensive API for federal legislative information, the first Google Maps mashup to show congressional district boundaries, user-customized e-mail alerts for tracking by topic or legislator, and the first ‘real-time’ predictive model for whether legislation introduced in Congress will become law. In addition to being the company’s only full-stack engineer, I am also its spokesperson. In 2019, I testified at a congressional hearing on government transparency, I regularly communicate with the media and have appeared on radio, and our work has been mentioned numerous times in the national news. I also manage two-to-three part-time researchers and the company’s budget and finances.
2016–2019GovReady, consulting technologist
GovReady PBC is a Department of Homeland Security grant recipient and startup that applies modern technology to information technology governance, risk, and compliance (GRC). Its goal is to reduce the time and monetary costs of cybersecurity compliance requirements for federal agencies and their contractors. As a consulting software engineer, and the startup’s lead engineer, I designed and developed the company’s software platform from rapid prototyping through testing with early adopters, working closely with the founder-CEO to respond to frequent stakeholder feedback and achieve several design pivots.
2000–2018LARSA, Inc., software engineer (part time)
(See company description above.) In the 00’s, I led the development of a new Visual Basic 6 user interface for the company’s flagship software. I subsequently developed novel algorithms in Fortran and C for structural engineering analysis. In the late 2010’s I began our work to develop emerging products in C++ and C# with modern software practices. Throughout this time I also led the company’s technical writing and participated in customer support, client training, and trade shows.
2016–2017Demand Progress, contrator/deeloper
Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports are policy reports drafted by a office of the U.S. Congress, but have historically been largely inaccessible outside of paid legal subscription services. is the first website to create comprehensive public access to these taxpayer-funded reports. I built the zero-maintenance website.
2014–, Co-Founder was a startup I co-founded with Jonathan Zucker that aimed to reshape Congress by empowering small dollar donors to make contributions based on what politicians do — not what they promise. We created the first platform for “conditional” political donations tied to legislative events, navigating a complex statutory and regulatory legal and compliance landscape. I developed the website as the sole engineer and collaborated with my co-founder on marketing and fundraising.
2014–2016United States Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel, software engineering contractor
After laws are passed, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel codifies those laws in the United States Code. I developed an internal workflow tool for the positive law codification process, sort of a git for law, with Xcential and Robinson + Yu.
2013–2014Council of the District of Columbia, consulting software engineer
I created the first XML open data for the District's legal code, the DC Code, for the Office of the General Counsel. The prototype was the precursor to which launched in 2016 and received press attention in 2018 when I made the first GitHub pull request to change the law, improving access to justice by making DC's laws freely available to be read and shared by everyone..
2012–2014U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, software engineering contractor
I was on the team that launched, a public data inventory management platform that was a part of President Obama’s federal-wide open data effort. The site cataloged HHS agency datasets about health. I led the effort to integrate CKAN and create an API.
2010–2012POPVOX, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
POPVOX was a venture-backed startup I co-founded to create an online advocacy platform which, in part, helped Americans write letters to Congress. I led a 2-3 person product team to design and implement the website, and I collaborated with my co-founders on startup competitions and marketing.
2003The Daily Princetonian, Features Editor
I was a features editor, the “executive editor for Page 3,” at the student-run daily newspaper during college. I also ran the newspaper’s comprehensive poll of the student body on the Iraq war.


2010 Ph.D.University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics
My dissertation “Learning [voice]” sought to inform the question of whether language is universal by measuring the durations of vowels in recordings of the speech of toddlers, investigating phonetics-phonology interface of the so-called voice contrast through a corpus analysis.
2008 M.A.University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics
My masters thesis “Learning in the Face of Infidelity: Evaluating the Robust Interpretive Parsing/Constraint Demotion Model of Optimality Theory Language Acquisition,” explored a mathematical model of language acquisition.
2004 A.B.Princeton University
Majoring in psychology, I wrote a senior thesis on presuppositions in speech. I also graduated with certificates in applications of computing and linguistics.


Invited Talks / Media Appearances / Testimony

Additional Presentations and Manuscripts

Press Clips/etc. (selected)


Professional Service

  • District of Columbia Government Open Government Advisory Group, public member, 2016-2019
  • Open Data Day DC 2011-2016, lead organizer. I (co-)started this yearly event in the District of Columbia for open data enthusiasts. It was on the same day as open data hackathons around the world. More than 300 participants joined us in 2014 and 2015.
  • Hack4Congress 2015, judge
  • TechLady Hackathon + Training Day, December 7, 2013, Washington, DC, sponsor
  • Hack for DC, National Day of Civic Hacking, June 2013, sponsor
  • Open Government Knowledge 2011, program committee
  • Linked Data on the Web (LDOW) 2010, 2011, program committees
  • Great American Hackathon @ Philadelphia 2009, organizer

Selected Additional Technology Projects

2021Iceberger: Draw an iceberg and see how it will float
(viral for a while, later mentioned here)
2013–presentMail-in-a-Box, creator
Mail-in-a-Box is an open source project to make deploying a good mail server without system administration experience, promoting decentralization on the web. The project has an active community of users on the discussion forum and our Slack channel.
2013–, team member
A project of Code for DC to increase engagement in DC's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. [press: WAMU]
2005–2009SemWeb .NET Library
An open source .NET library written in C# for working with RDF data for the Semantic Web. It's used in the Gnome application F-Spot, and possibly elsewhere. I created it becaues I thought the Semantic Web would be big! [github]
This entry for Sunlight Foundation's Apps for America contest, in collaboration with Josh Sulkin, is a mash-up of airline on-time flight statistics from the FAA with historical weather data from the NOAA. Mentions: White House open gov status report, The New York Times (3/12/11), NPR (3/14/10), The Washington Post (7/21/09), The Politico (6/24/09).
This is an extension to the Praat program for phonetic analysis that allows scripts to by written in Python. I created it to help with (procrastinate doing) my PhD thesis. [github]
2006–2007The Penn Lambda Calculator
This is a linguistic semantics pedagogical tool made in conjunction with Lucas Champollion and Maribel Romero.
2007/2008Semantic Web Databases
U.S. Census RDF Dataset: A 1-billion triples RDF database of U.S. Census statistics, at the time the largest open, linked, and dereferencable RDF database of real-world information. U.S. SEC Corporate Ownership RDF Data: A semantic web RDF database based on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database.
1999Webcytology [more info]
My first major web project (I was in high school), this was a winning entry in the 1999 ThinkQuest competition. It featured a cellular automata simulation, inspired by Conway's Game of Life, where users would design organisms with different biologically inspired properties. In collaboration with Andew Kallem.

Academic Publications (grad school years)