Dr Christine O'Keefe

Dr Christine O’Keefe.

Dr Christine O'Keefe: turning data into knowledge for informed decision-making

Dr Christine O'Keefe is Program Leader for Decision and User Science in CSIRO Computational Informatics. She turns data into knowledge for informed decision-making and action in the services economy.

  • 27 July 2011 | Updated 31 October 2013

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History

Overview

Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Christine O'Keefe is the Program Leader for Decision and User Science in CSIRO Computational Informatics.

Research in this program helps turn data into knowledge for informed decision-making and action in the services economy, and ensures better understanding and practices in commercial and research sectors.

This program delivers value through helping people make evidence-based decisions in the presence of uncertainty, leading to the best possible efficiency and effectiveness outcomes. Our distinctive skills include:

Dr OKeefe’s research is focused on privacy and confidentiality protection, and in particular how to analyse databases of confidential information without compromising confidentiality.

  • Strong focus on delivering innovative science leading to practical solutions for large applied problems
  • Track record of successful participation in multi-disciplinary projects
  • Track record of delivering solutions in a wide range of application domains
  • Strong relationships with government and industry, particularly in services sector and services components of other sectors
  • Track record of delivering research papers, technical reports and production software

Dr O’Keefe is also Stream Leader for Sustainable Health Systems in the Health Services Theme of the Digital Productivity and Services Flagship. In addition she is Adjunct Professor in the School of Mathematics in The University of Adelaide.

Dr OKeefe’s research is focused on privacy and confidentiality protection, and in particular how to analyse databases of confidential information without compromising confidentiality.

Background

Dr O'Keefe is a mathematician who has been working with CSIRO since 2000 in a variety of roles including Operations Director of the Preventative Health National Research Flagship and Science Leader for Privacy and Confidentiality within CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics. Prior to 2000 Dr O’Keefe enjoyed an international academic research career at universities in Australia and overseas.

Recently Dr O’Keefe has held appointments as:

  • Director of the Population Health Research Network Centre for Data Linkage
  • Data Confidentiality Specialist Consultant, Australian Bureau of Statistics

Academic qualifications

Dr O'Keefe has been awarded a:

  • Bachelor of Science with Honours in Pure Mathematics from The University of Adelaide, South Australia, 1982
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Pure Mathematics also from The University of Adelaide, 1988
  • Master of Business Administration from the Australian National University, Australian Capital Territory, 2008.

Her areas of study included:

  • Finite geometry and its applications, which draws on techniques from algebra, discrete mathematics and combinatorics. Dr O’Keefe has also investigated the application of geometric techniques in other related fields such as design theory, the modelling of spatial memory and information security.
  • In the related area of information security Dr O’Keefe has made contributions to the theory of Secret Sharing Schemes, which allow only certain predetermined groups of participants to together obtain a secret key, while preventing any leakage of information to unauthorised groups.
  • Dr O’Keefe has worked on implementing consent for access to personal information in electronic form, privacy-preserving linkage protocols and theory-backed standards for protecting individual privacy and confidentiality in health data research.
  • Dr O’Keefe’s current research interests lie in the area of privacy technologies and disclosure control. She am particularly interested in designing analysis output which does not compromise confidentiality or privacy, and in developing quantitative measures for disclosure risk and information loss/data utility.

Achievements

Dr O’Keefe has been awarded the:

  • Newton Turner Career Award 2010 for exceptional senior scientists in CSIRO
  • Sir Roland Wilson Prize 2008 for leadership and excellence
  • Australian Mathematical Society Medal for distinguished research in the Mathematical Sciences, 2000
  • Hall Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications for outstanding contributions to the field, 1996

She is also a:

  • Member of the Australian Privacy Advisory Committee
  • Fellow of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications
  • Fellow of the Australian Mathematical Society
  • Member of the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia
  • Associate of the Confidentiality and Privacy Group, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

In 2000 Dr O'Keefe was included on the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame Signature Quilt, A Patchwork of Empowerment.

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