Tax Policy Center

Claire Bowen

Lead Data Scientist, Privacy and Data Security

As a child, I wanted to know how the world worked. This curiosity motivated me to initially research physics, so I could solve real-world problems that helped people. With that goal, I then became a data scientist to explore and answer interesting and exciting questions in all fields (not just physics) that can make a profound and positive impact for society.


Claire McKay Bowen is the lead data scientist of privacy and data security at the Urban Institute. Her research focuses on the quality of differentially private data synthesis methods and science communication. In 2016, she interned at the US Census Bureau, where she helped develop and evaluate differentially private data synthesis methods for income data in the American Community Survey.

Bowen holds a BS in mathematics and physics from Idaho State University and an MS and PhD in statistics from the University of Notre Dame. After completing her PhD, she worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she investigated cosmic ray effects on supercomputers. She is also the recipient of the National Sciences Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, the Microsoft Graduate Women’s Fellowship, and the Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship and was selected for the inaugural NSF Graduate Research Internship Program and the NSF-funded Rising Stars in Computational and Data Sciences Program.