The NC Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) has announced the selection of David Yokum to serve in the newly created role of Chief Scientist. The addition of a Chief Scientist in the state budget office will strengthen the central role of evidence-based evaluation in state government decision-making.
“As a state, we are always looking for ways to know if our programs and policies are effective and exploring what else is out there that might be more effective,” explained State Budget Officer Kristin Walker. “Making this role a key part of the state budget office will allow us to approach our processes—whether it be budget development, training, or strategic planning—with a new lens. It will take North Carolina to a new level in evidence-based decision-making.”
As Chief Scientist at OSBM, David will collaborate on evidence-based policymaking and performance management within OSBM and across state government. He will provide leadership, ideas, and technical expertise for several activities within OSBM’s Operational Excellence cluster, a suite of efforts to encourage strategic decision-making and evidence-driven policy. David will also lend his expertise to state agencies developing learning agendas connected to agency strategic goals and program evaluation strategies.
“The people I’ve met at OSBM and across state government care deeply about North Carolina and the people they serve. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to serve as a resource and a catalyst for those folks looking for new ways to evaluate their agency’s work and connect their efforts to agency strategic goals,” said David.
North Carolina is the first state with a dedicated role within the budget office focused on using scientific methods to help inform program and policy decisions. OSBM’s effort to identify and evaluate assumptions and evidence as part of the established governmental processes is a leading-edge practice, ensuring evaluation does not come as an afterthought but is firmly ingrained in strategic planning and budget development.
North Carolina has established itself as a leader among states for performance management and evidence-based policymaking. The state has earned recognition for its leadership in this field from national organizations including the Pew Charitable Trust, Results for America, and the National Association of State Budget Officers.
About Chief Scientist David Yokum
David comes to OSBM from The Policy Lab at Brown University, where he has served as Director since 2019. He has been serving in a consulting capacity to the North Carolina Office of Strategic Partnerships since 2020. He holds a Ph.D. and a J.D. from the University of Arizona and an M.A. from the University of South Florida.
The Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) is committed to serving North Carolinians by providing objective information and analysis to ensure a balanced budget and effective stewardship of public resources.