Kate Burns

Executive Director

Kate serves as the Executive Director to MetroLab. Before joining, she was a Senior Associate at Cityfi, a firm focused on fostering innovation and new thinking in the urban environment. Previously, she was a part of two mayoral administrations. Kate was the Technology Policy Advisor for Mayor Jenny Durkan in Seattle, WA. And before moving to Seattle, she was the Innovation Policy Advisor for Mayor Sly James in Kansas City, MO. These roles shared similar missions and values, including drafting new regulatory schemas for transportation networks and short term rentals, as well as implementing and promoting privacy and surveillance regulations. Kate was a part of the MetroLab network while in Seattle in Kansas City, and continues to uphold a passion for the work between cities and universities. She has a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Kansas.

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Stefania Di Mauro-Nava

Director of Development

Stefania joins MetroLab again as our Director of Development, focused on curating and implementing federal, philanthropic and corporate development efforts for the organization. Prior to this role, Stefania served in a number of other capacities at MetroLab, helping to deploy programs, creating communications content and implementing MetroLab’s Data Science and Human Services portfolio among other activities. Stefania has spent her career working at the nexus of science, technology and society, forging bridges between technical and nontechnical communities in this space. Prior to MetroLab, she served as a Science & Innovation Officer at the British Consulate-General in San Francisco and as an External Development Manager at CRDF Global in Arlington, VA. Stefania is a certified project management professional (PMP) and holds a M.A. in Science and Technology Policy from George Washington University and a B.A. in International Studies from American University.

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Rose Mische Commins

Civic Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator

Rose manages and orchestrates communities-of-practice in projects around the country, amplifies projects within the civic research ecosystem, and leverages the MetroLab Network to support programs like the Civic Innovation Challenge and more. Most recently, Rose worked for the City of Greenbelt in Prince George’s County. Prior to this, she lived in Central Illinois, working as the graduate fellow for the City of Bloomington’s Community Development Department, and the Project and Resource Manager for the Town of Normal’s Innovation and Technology Department. During this time she served on the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, assisted with Community Development Block Grant funding, and helped coordinate the City of Bloomington’s Healthy Housing program. She is passionate about improving municipal programs and resources, as well as utilizing data to increase innovation and connection within communities. She received her B.A. in English from Earlham College, and completed her M.S. at Illinois State University, where she was a Stevenson Center fellow in the Applied Community and Economic Development Program.


David Rowe

Chief of Staff

David Rowe is Chief of Staff at the MetroLab Network, assisting the Executive Director with developing and executing organizational strategy, as well as managing day-to-day operations. He brings nearly two decades of public and private sector experience to the organization, most recently serving in a variety of consulting engagements focused on public policy strategy. His past roles also include serving as the program manager for implementation of Kansas City, Missouri’s, smart city infrastructure initiative and serving as director of policy in the office of former Kansas City Mayor Sly James. David is a licensed, but inactive, attorney and a certified project management professional (PMP). He holds a law degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University.