Welcome Remarks

Bill Fulton


Bill Fulton is a former Mayor of Ventura, California, and Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of San Diego. In his career, Mr. Fulton has also served as Vice President for Policy at Smart Growth America, Principal in the California-based urban planning firm now known as PlaceWorks, and Senior Fellow at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He is the founding editor and publisher of California Planning & Development Report  and author of five books, including Guide to California Planning, the standard urban planning textbook in California, and The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles, which was an L.A. Times best-seller. He holds master’s degrees in mass communication from The American University and urban planning from UCLA.

G.P. “Bud” Peterson


G. P. “Bud” Peterson was appointed as the 11th president of Georgia Tech on April 1, 2009. Peterson came to Georgia Tech from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he served as chancellor. Prior to that, he served as provost at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and on the faculty and in leadership positions at Texas A&M University for 19 years. He has worked for NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Throughout his career, Peterson has played an active role in helping to establish the national education and research agendas, serving on many industry, government, and academic task forces and committees. A distinguished scientist, he was appointed in 2008 by President George W. Bush, and again in 2014 by President Barack Obama, to serve as a member of the National Science Board. Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a second bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and a master’s degree in engineering, all from Kansas State University. He earned a PhD in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. He and his wife, Val, have four adult children, two of whom are Georgia Tech alumni.

Keynote Speakers

Martin O’Malley


Martin O’Malley served as the 61st Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015 and the 47th Mayor of the City of Baltimore from 1999 until 2007.  His time as governor and mayor was marked by a steadfast commitment to data-driven decision-making.  As mayor, he introduced CitiStat, a performance-based management system that produced dramatic improvements in city services and efficiency and led to Baltimore being awarded the Innovations in Government Award from the Kennedy School at Harvard in 2001.  CitiStat has served as a model for cities across the world.  As governor, he continued to demonstrate results-driven leadership with the introduction of StateStat and BayStat, a system which has since inspired other systems including EPA’s ChesapeakeStat program.  In 2009, Governing Magazine named O’Malley Public Official of the Year for his ability to “improve performance by measuring what [states] do and relentlessly monitoring their progress”.  Governor O’Malley received his bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Maryland.  He and his wife, Katie, a District Court judge, have two daughters, Grace and Tara, and two sons, William and Jack.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg


Pete Buttigieg (boot-edge- edge) is the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana’s fourth-largest city. A Rhodes Scholar, he holds degrees from Oxford and Harvard Universities. He was the Democratic nominee for Indiana State Treasurer in 2010 against incumbent Richard Mourdock. Previously he was a management consultant at McKinsey, where he worked in energy, retail, economic development, and logistics. Elected in 2011 at the age of 29, he is one of America’s youngest mayors of a city with over 100,000 residents. A lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, he spent most of 2014 on leave from the office while deployed to Afghanistan.

The Human Services 360 Project: Supporting Next Generation Human Service Infrastructure to Address Big Picture Questions (Wednesday, September 13th at 11:40AM)

Learn more about this project here.

Julia Koschinsky


Julia Koschinsky is the Research Director of the Center for Spatial Data Science at the University of Chicago and has been part of Professor Luc Anselin’s team for over ten years. She has been conducting and managing research funded through federal awards of over $8 million to gain insights from the spatial dimensions of urban challenges in housing, health, and the built environment. She received her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nicole Marwell


Nicole Marwell is an Associate Professor in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her research examines urban governance, with a focus on the diverse intersections between nonprofit organizations, government bureaucracies, and politics.  Her current research projects include: (1) the causes and consequences of spatial inequality in government contracting to nonprofit organizations in New York City; (2) direct dynamics of political patronage and political exchange in a municipal legislature; and (3) the citizenship and financial implications of collaborative governance in child welfare. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funders. Professor Marwell received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Nick Mader


Nicholas Mader is a Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. His work focuses on improving outcomes for at-risk youth by guiding policy development and evaluating youth service programs in partnership with city agencies and non-profit providers. His methodological interests are in using rigorous quantitative methods applied to administrative data sets—the same data used by policy makers—that are augmented with data from other agencies, and data actively collected for applied questions. At Chapin Hall, this work focuses on merging student educational performance with out-of-school factors such as family instability, family poverty, criminal activity of friends or family, and exposure to violence, child abuse or neglect. Dr. Mader earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Michael Stiehl


Mike Stiehl is a Senior Policy Analyst at Chapin Hall, where he works alongside Chapin Hall’s partners, including government agencies and non-profit organizations, to successfully use and translate data to guide the implementation and evaluation of policies and services for vulnerable children. Mr. Stiehl also leverages his extensive expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis and works with Chapin Hall’s research, research technology and policy staff on continuous quality improvement and scaling evidence-based practices in public systems. Mr. Stiehl holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning and economic development from the University of Wisconsin.

Breakout Discussion: Engaging Students and Research Fellows (Wednesday, September 13th at 1:00PM)

Constantine Kontokosta


Assistant Professor Constantine Kontokosta, who also serves as the Deputy Director for Academics at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), is an expert in the field of Urban Informatics—which focuses on gathering, visualizing, and analyzing data on factors such as traffic volume, noise levels, energy use, and mobility in order to help make cities more efficient, livable, and sustainable. At CUSP and Tandon, he heads the Quantified Community Research Lab—a groundbreaking project that is making Hudson Yards, the 28-acre, 20-million square foot “city-within-a-city” on the west side of Manhattan, the nation’s first fully instrumented and quantified neighborhood lab; he’s since expanded the Quantified Community initiative with projects in Lower Manhattan and the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.

Dan O’Brien


Dan O’Brien joined the Northeastern faculty in 2014 from Harvard University where he was the research director for the Boston Area Research Initiative. In this role he led and coordinated a range of interdisciplinary projects that bring together local researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the study of Boston. His research uses large, administrative data sets (i.e., “Big Data”) in conjunction with traditional methodologies to explore the behavioral and social dynamics of urban neighborhoods, particularly surrounding “broken windows theory.” Much of his current work builds on a recent paper, “Ecometrics in the Age of Big Data,” (co-authored with Robert J. Sampson and Christopher Winship) that presents a methodology for measuring neighborhood characteristics in the digital age.

Sarah Stone


Sarah Stone became the Executive Director of the eScience Institute in September 2016, a position she job shares with Micaela Parker. Together with Dr. Parker, Stone handles eScience operations and planning, serving as the primary administrative contact for university and industry partners, funding agencies and the public. She helps to manage joint activities with partner institutions, including UC Berkeley and NYU, coordinates eScience outreach activities, and jointly runs the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program. Dr. Stone has a passion for fostering education and research collaborations across disciplines. As Deputy Director of the West Big Data Innovation Hub (WBDIH), she is involved in the thematic development of the WBDIH Urban Science working group.

Ellen Zegura


Dr. Ellen Zegura received the B.S. degree in Computer Science (1987), the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering (1987), the M.S. degree in Computer Science (1990) and the D.Sc. in Computer Science (1993) all from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Since 1993, she has been on the faculty in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. She was an Assistant Dean in charge of Space and Facilities Planning from Fall 2000 to January 2003. She served as Interim Dean of the College for six months in 2002. She was Associate Dean responsible for Research and Graduate Programs from 2003-2005. She served as the first Chair of the School of Computer Science from 2005-2012. She is a Fellow of the IEE and the ACM. She is the proud mom of two girls, Carmen (born in August of 1998) and Bethany (born in May of 2001), whose pictures never made it onto the web until Facebook.

Breakout Discussion: Citizen Engagement with Data and R&D Projects (Wednesday, September 13th at 1:00PM)

Meghan Cook


As Program Director of the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, State University of New York, Meghan leads multi sector and interdisciplinary innovation initiatives that build capability in public sector organizations and agencies throughout the world. Through a unique and collaborative process, Meghan works side by side with international, federal, state and local government leaders to produce new knowledge and actionable results. With over 18 years of experience working on public sector innovation efforts, Meghan is considered an expert in digital government transformation.

Jen Duthie


Jen Duthie is the Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer with the City of Austin. Her job duties include overseeing the City’s traffic management center, and assisting with the City’s smart city initiatives. Prior to joining the City of Austin earlier this year, Dr. Duthie directed a transportation research group at The University of Texas at Austin.

Christopher Le Dantec


Christopher Le Dantec is an Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. His research is focused on integrating theoretical, empirical, and design-based investigations of mobile and social technologies in support of community and civic engagement. With an interest in digital disparities, Dr. Le Dantec examines alternate constraints on mobile computing in urban life, information technology and social institutions, and the use of participatory design for articulating social issues and constructing publics.

Nigel Jacob


Nigel Jacob is the cofounder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator and R&D Lab within Boston’s City Hall. Nigel’s work is about making urban life better via innovative, people-oriented applications of technology and design. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked in a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area. Previously, Nigel was the Urban Technologist in Residence at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaboration of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions. In addition, he is currently a board member at organizations such as Code For America and coUrbanize as well as an Executive-in-Residence at Boston University.

CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs, O my (Wednesday, September 13th at 4:15PM)

Samir Saini – Moderator


Samir Saini is a business-centric CIO. He has 20 years of IT leadership experience, and has managed budgets upwards of $50M and a staff of 250. Throughout his daily operations, he continues to focus on his commitment to service the public at a local level as CIO for the City of Atlanta. In this position, Samir is responsible for information technology services for all 25 city departments, including Public Safety, Justice, Operations, Administration and Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l Airport.

Samir’s experience expands across a variety of industries. He has had the pleasure of working for The General Electric Company, MGM Resorts Int’l, the Atlanta Housing Authority and now the City of Atlanta. Through the years, Samir has established a proven track record in partnering with various business leaders to adopt technology innovations that improve service delivery, grow revenue, improve productivity and mitigate cyber security risks.

Lilian Coral


A native of Cali, Colombia, I emigrated to the United States with my Mother in the early 1980s. Raised and educated in Southern California, I have bachelors’ degrees in International Studies and Drama from UC Irvine and a Master’s in Public Policy from UCLA. I currently serve as the Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles, in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. I work to support data-driven decision-making at the highest levels of government, and innovation and creativity in solving LA’s most intractable challenges. Prior to joining Mayor Garcetti’s office, I helped develop2-1-1 California, the alliance of 2-1-1 information and referral providers in California. 2-1-1 is a free phone number and online database that connects Californians quickly and effectively to health and human service programs in their communities. Throughout my career, I’ve worked on projects ranging from planning and program development, to research and policy analysis for health and human service agencies, local government, and labor unions; I’m an older sister and a life-long fan of the New York Knicks, Zinfandel and (inter)national political shenanigans!

Santiago Garces


Santiago Garces started the Office of Innovation in January of 2015. The Office of Innovation improves the efficiency and effectiveness of municipal services by developing talent, optimizing processes, and designing technology solutions.  Some of the projects that the Office has implemented include a data framework to evaluate policies like the city’s Vacant and Abandoned Properties initiative; an actionable report that engages residents using municipal route, fleet, and dispatch optimization for public safety and municipal services. Overall the Office has identified and commenced implementations of projects that should save taxpayers over $11 million dollars. South Bend and the University of Notre Dame entered an agreement that identifies Mr. Garces as the point of contact for the city in its collaborations for smart city research. In September of 2015 South Bend and Notre Dame became founding members of the Metro Lab Network. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Mr. Garces holds degrees in Electrical Engineering, Political Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Notre Dame.

Michael Mattmiller


Michael Mattmiller is responsible for connecting the City to the public, providing the City’s workforce with productivity enhancing technology solutions, and ensuring the public can equitably participate in the City’s high-tech economy. Since joining the City in 2014, Michael has focused on delivering solutions that optimize the City’s use of technology resources, build trust in how the City uses the public’s information, and increased the availability of gigabit broadband service to homes and businesses across Seattle. Prior to his work at the City, Michael was a senior strategist at Microsoft focused on data privacy and protection practices across the company’s enterprise cloud solutions and a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Tom Schenk


Tom Schenk is a researcher and author in a number of fields, including data science, open data, data visualization, and education research and policy. He is currently the Chief Data Officer at the City of Chicago, which includes leadership of the strategic use of data to improve the efficiency of city operations and improve the quality of life for residents. Tom has led the expansion of Chicago’s open data portal, implementation of predictive analytics to optimize city services, and leading the City’s database and business intelligence teams. He leads  Tom has also co-founded and is currently the Chair of the Civic Analytics Network, an association of nearly two-dozen city CDOs, based at Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Video Analytics for Safety and Mobility (Thursday, September 14th at 10:15AM)


Every year, 1.25 million lives are lost through road traffic crashes – equivalent of eight Boeing 747 planes crashing every day. Many cities in the world have adopted Vision Zero, which means that we have acknowledged that traffic crashes are not accidents but preventable incidents. With recent advances in technology and video analytics, including developments in computer vision and machine learning, it has become easier to detect and quantify areas of risk before crashes occur. These advances present promising potential for wide-scale implementation and could significantly improve road safety.

Kate Kusiak Galvin


Kate Kusiak Galvin works closely with the Director of UrbanCCD, Charlie Catlett, as well as faculty, scientists, and administrative leaders to strategically develop and coordinate the strategic objectives and programs of the Center.  Prior to joining UrbanCCD in 2013, Kusiak Galvin worked as an Assistant Director for Arete, a research accelerator at the University of Chicago, and was tasked with assisting researchers organizing large-scale interdisciplinary research programs across UChicago. Previously, Kusiak Galvin worked at the American Society for Clinical Pathology. As an Associate Manager in Global Outreach, she was responsible for coordinating training events in Kenya, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Cambodia for laboratory professionals under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), as well as managing both international and domestic partnerships for the Association.  Kusiak Galvin has an MBA from DePaul University with a concentration in Integrated Marketing Communications and Entrepreneurship. She received her BA in Public Relations with a minor in marketing from Marquette University.

Franz Loewenherz


Franz Loewenherz is a Principal Planner for the City of Bellevue. He received his master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Washington and has more than 20 years of transportation sector experience. Franz has advanced multiple technology development partnerships including overseeing a team from the City of Bellevue, King County, and Federal Highway Administration that leveraged inertial profiling technologies to identify sidewalks with defects that limit access for persons with disabilities. Mr. Loewenherz is project manager of the Video Analytics towards Vision Zero Partnership aimed at developing a predictive crash analysis system for flagging road safety problems.

Tara Pham


Tara is co-founder and CEO of Numina, a sensor solution that empowers cities with data to become more walkable, bikeable, and responsive. Individually and with Numina, Tara has led city-scale technology projects with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Code for America, Living Cities, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Clinton Foundation, and others. Prior to civic tech, Tara had previously worked in public health/urban design research, music media, and arts administration. She is also a Next City Vanguard, 500 Startups alumna, 1776NYC Fellow, winner of the $50,000 Globalhack hackathon, Junior Board member of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and previous organizer of Sloup, a monthly soup dinner that crowdfunds grassroots creative projects, one bowl of soup at a time.

“First, Do No Harm” – Applying Predictive Analytics to Human Services (Thursday, September 14th at 1:15PM)


Predictive Risk Modeling tools are moving rapidly into the public sector, raising both hopes and fears about how this will affect some of the most crucial decisions governments make to intervene with families and communities. What practical steps can data scientists and local leaders to ensure these machine-augmented decisions are transparent, fair and effective? During this session, MetroLab will also launch our Ethical Guide to Predictive Risk Modeling in Child Welfare Services report.

Chris Kingsley – Moderator


Chris Kingsley is overseeing the development of the MetroLab Network’s human services initiatives and consults nationally on projects directed at improving the public sector’s ability to use data to achieve better results. He has written, advocated for, and provided training on issues related to administrative data systems, information sharing and privacy policy as part of the teams at Data Quality Campaign and National League of Cities. Chris is a graduate of Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania. Chris is working with MetroLab through the consulting firm Better Measured.

Alexandra Chouldechova


Alexandra is an Assistant Professor of Statistics and Public Policy at Heinz College.  She received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2009, and in 2014 she completed her Ph.D. in Statistics at Stanford University.  While at Stanford, she also worked at Google and Symantec on developing statistical assessment methods for information retrieval systems. Alexandra’s main research interests are in high dimensional statistics and large scale hypothesis testing.  She is particularly interested in estimation and statistical inference in settings where the data is spatially or temporally structured.  Her current research focuses on developing inferential procedures for anomaly detection problems in cases where multiple anomalies are expected to occur.

Kathy Park


Kathy Park is CEO of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD). She provides strategic vision and oversight to the organization’s portfolio of government- and foundation- funded research and data analysis projects in child welfare, juvenile and criminal justice, and adult protective services. She is currently focused on building NCCD’s efforts toward lessening racial disparities in these social systems and creating community-based solutions to persistent problems. Ms. Park has 17 years’ experience at NCCD, a 110-year- old organization that partners with agencies and jurisdictions across the United States and in Canada, Bermuda, Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan. Ms. Park began her career as child welfare investigator in Georgia.

Future of Privacy Forum Discussion: Smart Cities and Open Data (Thursday, September 14th at 2:15PM)

The Smart Cities and Open Data movements promise to use data to spark civic innovation and engagement, promote inclusivity, and transform modern communities. At the same time, advances in sensor technology, re-identification science, and Big Data analytics have challenged cities and their partners to construct effective safeguards for the collection, use, sharing, and disposal of personal information. As cities harness more data than ever, how can we assess the risks and opportunities of new technologies and data flows while preserving public trust and individual privacy? In this roundtable style discussion, come hear from City CIOs, academic leaders, and industry experts developing emerging frameworks for addressing privacy challenges in open data and examine the opportunities and challenges of new urban instrumentation.

Predictive Analytics for Child Welfare:  Fundamental Principles (Thursday, September 14th at 2:15PM)


An in depth briefing on Predictive Analytics for Child Welfare in the United States context.  Designed as an upskilling session for agencies that are interested to learn more about what predictive analytics could offer their State or County, and the best ways to progress towards a working model.

Predictive Analytics for Child Welfare


Rhema and Tim will describe the current predictive analytics landscape and explain what is involved in taking a predictive analytics project to implementation. In particular, they will talk about ‘defining the problem’ and the significance of fairness, transparency, ethics and community engagement.

Rhema Vaithianathan


Rhema is co-director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, where she is also a Professor of Economics.  Rhema is internationally recognised for her ambitious research using linked administrative data.  She led the international research team that developed the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST), a child welfare predictive risk modelling tool for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Allegheny County implemented the AFST, which aims to support call screeners to make better decisions, in August 2016.  Rhema is leading and collaborating on the development of a number of other US predictive risk modelling tools, including leading the team building a prototype child welfare predictive risk model for Colorado State with a focus on implementing it in Douglas County. She has held numerous research positions in Australia, Singapore and US including a Harkness Fellowship at Harvard University.

Tim Maloney


Tim is co-director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, where he is also a Professor and Head of the School of Economics at AUT.  Tim is part of the research team that developed the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST), a child welfare predictive risk model for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Allegheny County implemented the AFST in August 2016.  Tim regularly collaborates with his co-director Rhema Vaithianathan on a range of predictive risk modelling projects in the United States.  His research areas include Labour Economics, Econometrics and Public Policy. Tim’s previous appointments include positions in the Economics Departments of the University of Missouri, Bowdoin College and the University of Auckland. He gained his PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Approaches to assessing fairness in Child Welfare Predictive Risk Models


Alexandra will discuss her work-to-date and upcoming strategies to assess fairness of Child Welfare predictive risk models with the goal of ensuring that not only are the models more accurate than existing approaches, but are also demonstrably free from discriminatory biases.

Alexandra Chouldechova


Alexandra is an Assistant Professor of Statistics and Public Policy at Heinz College.  She received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2009, and in 2014 she completed her Ph.D. in Statistics at Stanford University.  While at Stanford, she also worked at Google and Symantec on developing statistical assessment methods for information retrieval systems. Alexandra’s main research interests are in high dimensional statistics and large scale hypothesis testing.  She is particularly interested in estimation and statistical inference in settings where the data is spatially or temporally structured.  Her current research focuses on developing inferential procedures for anomaly detection problems in cases where multiple anomalies are expected to occur.

Implementation – Lessons from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania


Erin will talk through the process of getting the Allegheny Family Screening Tool to implementation; starting from putting out an RFP and selecting a provider through to details like policy decisions, staff training and communicating with the local community and media.

Erin Dalton


As Deputy Director for the Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation, Erin Dalton is responsible for directing the research and evaluation activities of the Department of Human Services. Ms. Dalton has held policy positions with the Allegheny County Executive’s Office and the United States Department of Justice and was an adjunct staff member at the RAND Corporation. Ms. Dalton is a board member of Neighborhood Allies and was a mayoral appointee to the Pittsburgh Civilian Police Review Board and a county executive appointee to the Allegheny County Juvenile Detention Board of Advisers. Ms. Dalton received a Master’s of Science from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy.