U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Chief Data Officer for Beth Puchek is blazing her trail to shape the first-ever USCIS Data Strategy and build a data-centric culture to secure one of the nation’s most critical missions: immigration. But it’s not just about the strategy. Data quality and data standards are her priority, which blazes the trail for the further use of automation technologies that can take efficiency, speed, and accuracy to unprecedented levels. Puchek is leading USCIS to a data-driven culture that sets up the organization for long-term improvement and paves the way for further use of emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, chat GPT and more. In just under 90 days, Puchek established and chaired a cross-directorate working group to develop the strategy’s four goals, launched an agency-wide communication campaign, and completed the formal review and approval process. The strategy formed the foundation for the new organizational design for the Office of the Chief Data Officer, which is responsible for managing data assets and fostering a data-driven culture at USCIS.
Puchek is supporting the strategic plan by promoting data consumption among all of her staff by publishing enterprise-wide dashboards — the Director’s Snapshot, the Domestic Receipts Dashboard, the USCIS Strategic Performance Measures Dashboard, and the Electronic Filing Dashboard — to help facilitate leadership decisions, to launch the Data Management Council, and to complete several data-sharing agreements with the Department of Labor and Department of State that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of benefit adjudications. She also has her eye on the need for her data analysts to be on the same page so she created an Analyst Basic Training to provide a consistent baseline for the agency’s data analysts. Puchek’s roots in homeland extend to eight years at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) where she held progressively advanced roles, including Advisor to the Commissioner, Chief of Staff for Enterprise Services, and Director of Systems Engineering.