Meet the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Innovation (i-team)
We recently merged with the CitiStat team in City Hall to become the Mayor’s Office of Performance and Innovation! Stay tuned for an updated website with refreshed content about both teams and bios for everyone in our office.
The Baltimore Innovation Team was started in City Hall in August 2017 and currently serves in the administration of Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Our team is funded by a multi-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of their Innovation Teams Grant Program, and our team members have diverse professional backgrounds with subject matter expertise in a number of fields including city planning, design, data science, engineering, public health and public policy. One thing we have in common is our commitment to making Baltimore City government work efficiently and effectively for its residents.
Dan's photo was taken at the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon, his Baltimore neighborhood. This is one of the more beautiful public spaces in Baltimore which, Dan says, "always makes me smile as I walk past each morning.” One of these days, Dan will get around to climbing the 227 steps to the top of the monument!
Dan Hymowitz, Director
Dan was previously Senior Advisor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) where he directed the organization’s thought leadership – developing and sharing learning from TBI’s experience advising Presidents and governments in Africa with the international development community. From November 2014 to March 2015, Dan was an advisor to the head of the task force that managed Liberia’s response to Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.
Prior to joining the TBI, Dan set up and managed the Philanthropy Secretariat, a unit within the Office of the President of Liberia, which pioneered a new approach to how governments work with international foundations and philanthropists. Dan has a postgraduate degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a Bachelors from Tufts University. He is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a Truman National Security Project Fellow.
Tamika Gauvin, Deputy Director, i-team
Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office of Innovation, Tamika worked on transportation planning projects including the Baltimore Red Line, in which she served as a Public Involvement Manager. Her next role was Project Manager for a study of alternatives for Bus Rapid Transit in Montgomery County. She learned a great deal about transportation planning, but was excited to return to working on a Baltimore issue and for Baltimoreans as a member of the i-team.
Tamika’s strong interest for change and transformation in cities led her to earn a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Emily Ianacone, Civic Design Lead
Emily leads the i-team’s qualitative research and human-centered design. She joined the team after design fellowships with the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows and Foster America, where she worked towards improving child welfare outcomes. While earning an M.A. in Social Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Emily focused her thesis work on the long-term impact of childhood trauma and chronic stress related to abuse, neglect, and the social determinants of health.
Prior to public service, Emily spent a decade in brand communications after earning a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She later taught in the School of Design at RIT. An avid music lover, she volunteered with Girls Rock! Rochester and served on their board of directors. Emily loves to uncover what drives people’s behavior, and is dedicated to seeing Baltimore residents achieve health equity through systemic reforms.
In 2018, she was named one of the World’s 100 Most Influential Young People in Government by Apolitical
Justin Elszasz, Deputy Director, CitiStat
With his previous organization, Navigant Consulting, Justin supported the U.S. Department of Energy’s appliance standards program – a linchpin of the Obama administration’s climate change efforts – through analysis and developing Federal regulations. He also used data science to improve utility energy efficiency programs.
Justin holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, where he researched applied data science in the energy sector and was a National Science Foundation fellow in the “Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship”, with a program focus of “Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design”. He has prior experience as a design engineer in the aerospace and medical device industries.
Priyanka Thakkar, Program Coordinator
Priyanka joins the i-team as a Baltimore Corps Fellow – largely responsible for efficient coordination, implementation and monitoring of several of i-team’s priority initiatives along with contributing to data analysis efforts. Priyanka brings with her a diverse background and a range of experiences in the tech, consulting and social sectors. She worked as a business analyst in the SAP HCM team at Infosys for about three years before deciding to come to the US to pursue business education. Priyanka travelled to Peru as a pro-bono consultant to help a rural university facing high drop-out issue.
Priyanka recently received her MBA degree from Johns Hopkins University and also has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science from Mumbai University. Priyanka is a passionate artist and loves to paint in her free time.
Cameron Morgan, Social Design Fellow
Cameron Morgan is a visual storyteller and graphic designer currently pursuing a Masters in Social Design at MICA. She holds a BA in Communications and English from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Previously, she worked for two years as a designer under the Chattanooga Publishing Company's banner. Before that, as a freelance business and news reporter for various publications. Cameron continues to push her creative boundaries through collaborative efforts with the Chattanooga Film Festival and independent web design work which facilitates entrepreneurs and women-run businesses.
Her passion for social issues rose from a mixture of personal and professional experience. Her main interests lie in spatial hierarchy and tensions, particularly as they relate to land ownership. She aims to understand how people interact with a changing landscape and how to weave a narrative which honors that change and promotes a better understanding of that space.
Shirley Yan, Social Design Intern
Shirley is currently pursuing a MSPH in Social and Behavioral Interventions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has a BA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Previously, she was a program manager for a narrative based research project, focused on how adolescents in Lucknow, India, view gender, and sexual and reproductive health.
Additionally, Shirley worked with the Indian government on expanding job opportunities in the textile sector as part of the University of Chicago’s International Innovation Corps fellowship program. She is interested in the ways in which design and qualitative research methods can be used to elevate community voices and make more just solutions.