Welcome to BL Insights, LLC
William Leiserson, Ph.D., brings a wealth of experience to help public-serving organizations do their jobs better. He recently founded BL Insights LLC, which provides consulting services to public serving entities. Dr. Leiserson honed his analytical and critical thinking skills as a long-time researcher and educator at Yale University, before he won a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
During his AAAS fellowship from 2014 to 2016, Dr. Leiserson worked on projects integrating strategic planning, performance management, evaluation, and communication, in assignments at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) at the U.S. Department of Justice, at the Performance Improvement Council (PIC), and at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Office of Science Planning and Assessment. In these assignments, he helped offices and agencies sharpen their strategic focus, improve organizational culture, create action plans, develop performance metrics and milestones, evaluate impact, and formulate strong narratives to effectively explain the strategic value of the agencies.
At NIJ, he led the institutional response to the 2015 National Research Council report on forensic science at NIJ. His accomplishments there include putting in place a comprehensive strategic planning process for NIJ, leading the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences to develop a strategic plan and logic model, leading the forensic research and development team to create a strategic research agenda, leading an evaluation effort to understand the impact of OJP programs in forensic science on the criminal justice system, and overhauling the annual report to Congress on forensic science activities to provide a strong narrative explaining the value NIJ brings to criminal justice. His activities have resulted in a significant improvement in performance culture at NIJ.
Before coming to NIJ, Dr. Leiserson spent the summer at the Performance Improvement Council (PIC). The PIC is an executive council of the U.S. Federal Government established by the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (GPRAMA) of 2010. The Council works across agencies to develop and build the capacity of federal employees with regard to performance management, evaluation, goal-setting, implementation, and performance culture. Among its duties, the PIC is responsible for working with agencies to implement the requirements set forth in GPRAMA, which includes managing the implementation of the 15 Cross Agency Priority (CAP) goals established as a part of the President’s Management Agenda. Dr. Leiserson’s projects included performance management of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education CAP goal, as well as an evaluation study of CAP Goal implementation. His work with the five interagency working groups resulted in a stronger commitment by the IWGs to develop better action plans, metrics, and milestones for their focus areas. His work on the CAP Goal evaluation project served as the basis for a report being prepared for the incoming Administration detailing lessons learned from the CAP Goal process, which is being produced through a collaboration between the PIC and White House Leadership Development Program.
Dr. Leiserson had a long career in research and education at Yale University, in the fields of genetics, neuroscience, and physiology. Among his many achievements, he established the fruit fly as a system for understanding the molecular processes underlying blood-brain barrier function. He demonstrated that human genes could substitute for their fly homologs restoring barrier function to mutant flies. He also established a new curriculum to teach genetics to undergraduates using fruit flies, which incorporated many modern pedagogical techniques, including activities to stimulate active learning.
With his background in science, education, and organizational management, Dr. Leiserson brings a powerful combination of expertise and skills: leadership, critical thinking, data collection, quantitative and qualitative analysis, performance management, evaluation, strategic and action planning, education, workshop facilitation, and communication.