Jeni Tennison is the Technical Director and Deputy CEO of the Open Data Institute. She originally trained as a psychologist and knowledge engineer, gaining a PhD in collaborative ontology development from the University of Nottingham. She went on to work as an independent consultant and practitioner, specialising in open data publishing and consumption, including XML, JSON and linked data APIs, before joining the Open Data Institute in 2012. She was awarded an OBE for services to technology and open data in the 2014 New Year Honours.
Before joining the ODI, Jeni was the technical architect and lead developer for legislation.gov.uk, which pioneered the use of open data APIs within the public sector, set a new standard in the publication of legislation on the web, and formed the basis of The National Archives’ strategy for bringing the UK’s legislation up to date as open, public data.
Within the wider UK public sector, Jeni worked on the early linked data work on data.gov.uk, helping to engineer new standards for the publication of statistics as linked data; building APIs for geographic, transport and education data; and supporting the publication of public sector organograms as open data. She continues her work within the UK’s public sector as a member of the Open Standards Board.
Jeni has contributed to several international standards through the W3C, working on XSLT and XPath 2.0 within the XSL Working Group and on XProc within the XML Processing Working Group. She was appointed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee to serve on the W3C’s Technical Architecture Group from 2011 to 2015, during which time she chaired the W3C’s HTML Data Task Force. In 2014 she started to co-chair the W3C’s CSV on the Web Working Group. She also sits on the Advisory Boards for the Open Contracting Partnership and the Data Transparency Lab.