Meet Mayor Pugh's Innovation Team

 
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The Baltimore Innovation Team was started in City Hall by Mayor Catherine E. Pugh in August 2017. 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.

 
 
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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.

 
 
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  Tamika's photo was taken at the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, her favorite place in Baltimore. The wax figures beautifully depict people and moments from the Black experience in America and they never get old. Tamika says of the museum, "I could go again and again."

Tamika's photo was taken at the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, her favorite place in Baltimore. The wax figures beautifully depict people and moments from the Black experience in America and they never get old. Tamika says of the museum, "I could go again and again."

 

Tamika Gauvin, Program Manager

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.

 
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  Emily's photo was taken on the Howard Street Bridge aka "the rainbow bridge". Walking over it everyday was part of her commute for grad school, and she always found the color palette cheerful. She enjoys knowing that a former mayor once wanted to paint the bridge a single color (kelly green), but a public poll revealed that residents desired to keep it as it was. People's choice!

Emily's photo was taken on the Howard Street Bridge aka "the rainbow bridge". Walking over it everyday was part of her commute for grad school, and she always found the color palette cheerful. She enjoys knowing that a former mayor once wanted to paint the bridge a single color (kelly green), but a public poll revealed that residents desired to keep it as it was. People's choice!

 

Emily Ianacone, Design Strategist

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

 
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  Justin's photo was taken at Penn Station, his portal into Baltimore when he lived in New York City. He arrived by bus every other weekend in Baltimore to see his then girlfriend (now wife!). Once he moved to Baltimore, he became a daily rider of the MARC train to DC for work before coming to City Hall, so walking through Penn Station still gives Justin the sense of being home at the end of a long day.

Justin's photo was taken at Penn Station, his portal into Baltimore when he lived in New York City. He arrived by bus every other weekend in Baltimore to see his then girlfriend (now wife!). Once he moved to Baltimore, he became a daily rider of the MARC train to DC for work before coming to City Hall, so walking through Penn Station still gives Justin the sense of being home at the end of a long day.

 

Justin Elszasz, Data Scientist

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.

 
 

OUR EXTENDED NETWORK

 
  Every morning when Priyanka wakes up, she can see the sun shining its golden light on the City Hall dome right outside her window. And in the evening when she comes home, the dome is a colorful shade of purple! Besides, she’s absolutely grateful to have this opportunity to call City Hall her office.

Every morning when Priyanka wakes up, she can see the sun shining its golden light on the City Hall dome right outside her window. And in the evening when she comes home, the dome is a colorful shade of purple! Besides, she’s absolutely grateful to have this opportunity to call City Hall her office.

 

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.

 
 
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  Dovecote is Cam’s favorite spot because it was the first coffee shop that she went to that felt like home after moving to Baltimore in July 2018. The owners created the space to anchor their community, and work hard to pour into the environment around them. It's a sense of community.

Dovecote is Cam’s favorite spot because it was the first coffee shop that she went to that felt like home after moving to Baltimore in July 2018. The owners created the space to anchor their community, and work hard to pour into the environment around them. It's a sense of community.

 
 

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’s favorite place in any city is where they can serve up a great scoop of ice cream, which makes Bmore Licks an obvious favorite place in Baltimore for her. It's for this reason that her photo was taken in front of a Bmore Licks mural.

Shirley’s favorite place in any city is where they can serve up a great scoop of ice cream, which makes Bmore Licks an obvious favorite place in Baltimore for her. It's for this reason that her photo was taken in front of a Bmore Licks mural.

 

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.