Chief Data and Analytics Officer

Start your journey as a Chief Data and Analytics Officer.

Prepare yourself for a leadership role as Chief Data and Analytics Officer in setting the analytics vision and strategy, data sharing, policies, and opportunities to create and capture value from data.  

The Chief Data and Analytics Officer is the most senior executive who leads the data vision, mission, and culture across the organization and is responsible for a firm’s data as an asset. Mason's Chief Data and Analytics Officer program, presented in partnership with industry and educational leaders, is designed to help you advance your organization's data management agenda while networking with faculty, subject matter experts, and other participants. 

Who Should Attend?

The ideal candidate has: 

  • Four to six years of experience in middle to upper management with demonstrated organizational leadership experience. 
  • Working knowledge of data management tools and experience implementing data management practices. 
  • Solid communications skills.  
  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent experience. 

Sample Schedule

  • In-Person Opening Oct. 24 - 26, 2023
  • Online Sessions Nov. 1 - Dec. 13, 2023
  • Mid-Program In-Person Session Jan. 9 - 10, 2024
  • Online Sessions Jan. 17 - Feb. 28, 2024
  • In-Person Closing March 5 -7, 2024

Program Topics

  • The Growth and Impact of Data 30%
  • Transforming the Organization 20%
  • Business and Financial Acumen 20%
  • Leadership and Culture 15%
  • Strategic Mindset for the CDO 15%

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Establish and lead the data organization’s data activities as a strategic and aligned business partner.
  • Develop, in concert with senior leadership, a comprehensive strategic data plan with a mission, vision, and specific, measurable goals that are fully aligned with the organization.
  • Effectively and efficiently execute the strategic data plan.
  • Build the necessary infrastructure to integrate data practices into the business.
  • Create and sustain an enabling data-focused ecosystem with conditions to encourage a culture of data-driven understanding and decision making, innovations for data management applications, and value creation.
  • Engage the organization’s leadership team in support of data initiatives at the enterprise level.
  • Lead innovation and change activities by fully leveraging the data asset of the organization.

Badge of Certification

This program is delivered as a non-degree, School of Business executive certificate. Attendees have the opportunity to add a badge credential from Credly for successful completion of the program to their resume for organizational recognition (internal and external) and to indicate the accomplishment of obtaining a George Mason University credential.

Program Information

Dates: October 24, 2023–March 7, 2024
Delivery: Hybrid; online sessions and in-person sessions at Mason Square (formerly the Arlington Campus)
Cost: $8,500

Personal Consultation

Contact us to schedule an advising session:
Email ❭
(703) 993-6725 ❭


The curriculum is composed of the three core competencies areas that were identified by data leaders and academics as necessary for the Chief Data and Analytics Officers of the Future:

Transformational Organization Leadership (Fulfills ECQ 1 & ECQ 2)

Leading Change 

People often dislike uncertainty at work and often fear or avoid change altogether. One of the most important roles of leadership then is to manage change and cope with uncertainty in your teams and organizations. This session explores the challenges and opportunities involved in change management, especially the areas of employee resistance, how to overcome it, and how to champion results. This session is a joint session with other C-Suite participants. 


  • Dr. Tori Grady, Associate Professor of Management, School of Business, George Mason University 

Being a Leader in the C-Suite 

This session builds your capacity to engage in the successful practices of leadership as a member of the C-Suite. The emphasis is on your way of being as a leader (the observer you are) and enhancing your capacity to declare commitments to future possibilities and engage others in sharing and fulfilling those commitments. The Session discusses the importance of context in confronting managerial challenges and creating opportunities. Explores the role of leadership in shaping conversations that create empowering contexts for organizational actions. 


  • Dr. Greg Unruh, Arison Chair in Values Leadership, Associate Professor, College of Humanities and Social Science, George Mason University. 

Relational-Based Leadership 

It is up to leaders to create an environment in which individuals find meaning and motivation, perform, thrive, and are resilient. This comes not just from money or prestige, but because of the positive relationships they hold at work. This session allows individuals to appreciate how leaders can improve by taking a relational view towards others in the organization. To lead is to speak directly to the workforce, to understand their concerns, pinch points, frustrations, and pain. Taking a relational view goes beyond your individual relationship with each employee; it encompasses understanding the network of employee relationships. 


  • Dr. Kevin Rockmann, Professor of Management, School of Business, George Mason University. 

Creating a Positive Corporate Culture 

Introduces the construct of emotional culture and demonstrates the importance of cultivating a positive emotional culture for employees, teams, divisions, and organizations. Distinguishing among the key emotions impacting culture and describing how individuals and organizations can achieve enhanced employee health and wellbeing. Provide evidence-based techniques that managers can integrate into their daily work practices to increase personal and professional success. 


  • Mandy O’Neill, Associate Professor of Management, School of Business, George Mason University. 

Innovative Business and Operational Acumen (Fulfills ECQ 3 & ECQ 4)

Building Business Acumen for the C-Suite 

Provides an overview to the principles and practices of business acumen; what separates C-Suite Executives who excel from those who do not; and how to successfully engage with other members of the C-Suite by applying the principles to everyday conversations and interactions. This session is a joint session with other C-Suite participants. 


  • Dr. Tom Davies, Executive-in-Residence, School of Business, George Mason University 

Value Creation and Customer/Stakeholder Equity 

In this session, participants will learn how executives make decision to create, communicate, capture, and deliver value to their customers or stakeholders. Successfully developing and deploying a critical value-based strategy that focuses on maximizing customer/stakeholder value and need satisfaction is essential for organizational performance and mission successful. 


  • Dr. Brett W. Josephson, Associate Professor of Marketing, School of Business, George Mason University. 

Business & Sustainability 

Historically, social expectations of businesses have been limited to the creation of wealth for shareholders and the simultaneous creation of jobs and economic development in their communities. Now, however, the last two decades has seen societal expectations shift toward creation social and environmental value in addition to economic returns. This course provides participants with frameworks and strategies they can use to align their business value creation with emerging social and environmental expectations.  


  • Dr. Greg Unruh, Arison Chair in Values Leadership, Associate Professor, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 


This session strengthens the participant’s innovation acumen by acquainting them with the latest thinking on innovation and exposing them to proven strategies and best practices to transforming promising ideas into actionable innovations that move their organizations forward. 


  • Dr. Tom Davies, Executive-in-Residence, School of Business, George Mason University 

Strategic Thinking, Value Proposition Models and Mission Fulfillment 

This session provides analytical tools to focus on value creation in an organization through the concept of business model innovation and its links to strategic management and strategic thinking. This session is a joint session with other C-Suite participants. 


  • Dr. Mahesh Joshi, Associate Professor of Management, School of Business, George Mason University 

Developing and Executing a Strategic Plan 

In this session, participants will gain an understanding of what is strategy. Identify links between organizations and types of strategy as well as how resources and assets link to different business models and mission objectives. 


  • Dr. Mahesh Joshi, Associate Professor of Management, School of Business, George Mason University. 

Mastery of Data and Analytics Ecosystem (Fulfills ECQ 5)

Business Models for Data Drive Organizations

This topic will introduce participants to the business model canvas and to demonstrate the role of data and analytics in each component of the canvas. The focus of this topic is to help you reflect on your organization as a data-driven organization and to discuss how data and analytics can improve effectiveness of your operations and mission.


  • Nirup Menon, Professor of Information Systems and Operations Management, School of Business, George Mason University

Digital Storytelling

By completing this topic, you will be able to identify elements of best visualization and storytelling practices and areas of improvement when applied to your specific context. This topic should give you relevant background needed towards developing a culture for data-driven storytelling, eventually becoming part of an overall data and management strategy of your organization. 


  • Dr. Dieter Pfoser, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science; Director, Center for Geointelligence, College of Science, George Mason University

Data Strategy and Architecture

The purpose of this topic is to help participants more effectively execute a data strategy, as well as align stakeholders’ understanding of where key data lives and how it flows through the enterprise.


  • Ali Obaidi, Data Engineer, Principal (Mitre Corporation) and Mike Fleckenstein Chief Data Strategist at MITRE

Advanced Data Management

The focus of this topic is to help you reflect on planning and assessment as key activities of data management. Setting up a data management strategy and plan which includes business-focused metrics for data use and impact of analytics can improve the effectiveness of the data and analytics mission of the organization. Committed participation in this topic will impact you and those in your company with whom you share knowledge with to rethink strategies and planning around data and analytics in your organization.


  • Nirup Menon, Professor of Information Systems and Operations Management, School of Business, George Mason University

AI and Machine Learning

In this topic, we are going to be exploring the ways in which AI and ML can aid a CDAO in their journey to turn their organization's data swamp into a data paradise, ripe with relevant and powerful decision-making tools. T


  • Brett Josephson, PhD, Associate Dean of Executive Development and Associate Professor of Marketing

Data Governance and Ethics

The purpose of this topic is to help participants understand the essential components of data governance. We look at various approaches to data governance that include both short-term and long-term wins, based on organizational data-culture. This session also covers CDO’s growing involvement to guide organizations in data ethics.


  • Ali Obaidi, Data Engineer, Principal (Mitre Corporation) and Mike Fleckenstein Chief Data Strategist at MITRE

"Mason's Chief Data Officer Program brings together data management leaders and thinkers from around the country and the world. This fosters a highly productive dialogue and is a valuable tool for carrying forward effective data management. We were so convinced of the program’s value that we are now collaborating in its teaching."

Mike Fleckenstein, CDO '19  | Chief Data Strategist, MITRE 


Meet Your Instructors

  • Mike Fleckenstein

    Chief Data Strategist, MITRE

    Mike Fleckenstein is the Chief Data Strategist at MITRE.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Computational and Data Science, George Mason University

    Olga Gkountouna is an assistant professor in the Department of Computational and Data Science at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Nirup Menon

    Professor, Information Systems and Operations Management

    Nirup Menon is a professor within the Information Systems and Operations Management Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • Chief Technology Officer, myDigitalOffice and Adjunct Professor at George Mason University

    Sudhir Menon is chief technology officer at myDigitalOffice and an adjunct professor at George Mason University.
  • Data Engineer, Principal, MITRE

    Ali Obaidi is a Data Engineer, Principal, at MITRE.
  • Dieter Pfoser

    Professor and Chair, Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University

    Dieter Pfoser is a professor and chair of Geography and Geoinformation Science at George Mason University.

Related Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Are faculty from George Mason University?

A combination of Mason faculty, adjuncts, and subject matter experts teach in the program. 

How was the curriculum created and courses chosen?

An advisory council of professionals at the c-suite level help George Mason University develop the program curricula, which is dynamic and changes based on feedback and emerging practices. 

Is this program eligible under the GI Bill?

Not at this time. 

Are there any discounts to attend the program?

Preferred pricing for government employees is $7,650. A promotional code will be provided to those accepted into the program. Please call (703) 993-8275 if you are a Mason employee or would like to discuss a group rate.   

What does the cost of the program include?

The $8,500 program cost includes all materials, activities, catering, receptions, and a certificate of completion. 

How do I register and pay for the program?

You must first submit an online application. Once accepted into the program, you will be provided directions on how to register and pay. 

How much time will participants need to devote to the program?

Participants should expect to spend six full days at the George Mason University Arlington Campus as well as participating in 5-6 online topics delivered in two-week increments. For each two-week topic there will be approximately 8-10 hours of learning including readings, videos, video presentations, live sessions, discussion boards, and assignments. 

How are the courses conducted?

As a hybrid program, topics are covered during two multi-day in-person sessions and online.  

There are six in-person days and approximately four months of online delivery.  

Online topics include a combination of asynchronous components such as discussion boards, presentations, videos, and assignments, as well as live synchronous sessions. Expect one to three scheduled live sessions for each online topic. These generally start between 7 and 8 p.m. ET. Live sessions are recorded and posted the next day. 

Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate is used for live online sessions. A tutorial is provided to participants in pdf form, and an optional live tutorial session is offered as well. All registered participants are given access to Blackboard approximately two weeks prior to the start of the program. 

Do I get university credit for this program? Will I be graded?

This is a non-credit executive development program so you will not earn university credit. However, CEUs (continuing education units) authorized by George Mason University are available upon request. At least two weeks prior to the start of the program, please send your request to You will be asked to provide additional personal information in order to have your CEUs properly recorded.   

Participants will not be graded, but In order to receive a certificate of completion, participants will need to complete a minimum of 80 percent of the work assigned (including assignments, deliverables, discussion boards, and live sessions). At the end of each topic, faculty are asked to provide a summary of participant’s engagement. 

How many participants are enrolled?

The maximum number of participants for a single cohort is 20. 

What are some common student personas/backgrounds/job titles?

Most participants have at least six years of management experience and are at the director level or above. Approximately half of the participants have been from the public/nonprofit sector and half from the private sector. The average age of participants is 45. 

Is there an application deadline?

No. Participants are admitted on a rolling basis up to the start of the program or until the cohort is full.