Gabe is the former Commissioner of the Chicago and Washington DC Departments of Transportation. In both cities he revamped technology platforms and government processes while focusing on putting people first vs. automobiles on city streets. This included launching two of the first and largest bikeshare systems in the U.S. and building protected bike lanes and better pedestrian infrastructure for vulnerable citizens citywide, as well as facilitating private services like carshare and rideshare that could help each cities mobility goals. Gabe honed his creativity and leadership skills working in business, including Zipcar, where he served as Vice President, Bikes USA as national Director of Stores and his own electric powered, organic food truck chain, On The Fly.
Post-government, and after an enriching fellowship with the Urban Land Institute in 2014, Gabe joined Fontinalis Partners as a Special Venture Partner on their $100 million 2nd fund. Gabe also advises governments and companies worldwide on innovation in cities including Singapore where Gabe has been a visiting fellow for the Centre For Livable Cities, working on creating a “car-lite” city-state. In 2015, Gabe also published Start-Up City with David Vega-Barachowitz on Island Press, a manifesto on revamping how (and how fast) we innovate in cities and rethinking public-private partnerships with a triple-bottom line approach as technology shapes a dramatically different future.
Gabe sits on the boards of Streetsblog, Carma, and advisory boards of NACTO, Sensity Systems, Zendrive, and advises next-gen start-ups including Phone2Action and Transit Screen. As Commissioner, he has worked to bring a new Riverwalk to Chicago as well as the breathtaking Bloomingdale Trail, 100’s of miles of bike lanes, new policies combined with technology solutions to revamp parking, permitting, and many other arcane government processes.
Ashley Z. Hand, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Ashley recently served as the Transportation Technology Strategist for the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation. As a fellow, she developed public policy, an action plan and pilot program recommendations for transportation happiness, shared mobility, automated vehicles and other technologies which will be publicly released in August of 2016. Prior to her role with the City of Los Angeles, Ashley served as the first Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, Missouri where she created the nation’s most comprehensive smart city to date through a public-private partnership that utilizes large companies and nimble start-ups to fulfill the city’s goals, and initiated the development of a policy and operational framework to integrate technology into transportation, water and energy management for the city among other civic innovation projects.
Ashley is a registered architect and green building professional and previously worked with AECOM on sustainability, planning and design projects across North America. Projects include KC Digital Roadmap, KC Smart City, Open Data Policy, and Urban Mobility in a Digital Age: A Transportation Technology Strategy for Los Angeles.
Formerly John was the president of PositivEnergy Practice, an urban systems engineering firm based on data-driven planning for new building design, retrofits, and urban design. John’s career has focused on developing and applying technology to improve the urban environment. From 2011 to 2013 he was Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago, leveraging technology to streamline public services through more efficient data-sharing, digital communications, and next-generation infrastructure. He led the development of ‘The City of Chicago Technology Plan’, an initiative that sets forth a series of public-private strategies to accelerate economic growth, build educated and digitally-engaged communities and workforce, improve government services, and reduce costs through technology.
In 2012, the White House recognized John as a ‘Champion of Change’. Prior to joining the City, he was Director of Citizenship and Technology at IBM Corp, where he worked on the firm’s ‘smarter cities’ initiative, advising cities how to incorporate data analytics into planning and operations. John led the City Forward project, the first global aggregator and visualizer of urban data sets.
Significant projects include the Wuhan, China Erqi District Parametric Model and Master Plan, Astana, Kazakhstan Expo 2017 Master Plan, The Broadband Challenge, Open Data/Civic Innovation, Open 311, and the City of Chicago Technology Action Plan.
Benjamin de la Peña
Benjamin de la Peña is an urbanist, a strategist and a design thinker. He’s worked on urban development issues that cover technology, sustainable transportation and informal systems. His writing has been featured in Citylab, Atlantic Cities, Next City, FutureEverything and TED City 2.0. He has presented at national and international conferences including Bloomberg and Atlantic’s Citylab, Smart City Expo, Designing Cities, Meeting of the Minds and various industry conferences.
He was most recently Director of Community and National Strategy at the Miami-based Knight Foundation, managing a total grant portfolio of $45M. His work at Knight focused on finding civic innovations that foster public life in cities. He was responsible for the publication of Jaime Lerner’s Urban Acupuncture and Gabe Klein’s Start Up City; and ground breaking reports such as Studio Gang’s Civic Commons, Gehl Institute’s Public Life Diversity Toolkit, and Next City’s Public Life Reader. He supported projects such as San Francisco’s Market Street Prototyping Festival, Place Lab and Theaster Gates’ Ethical Redevelopment Initiative, Welcoming Cities, CitizenshipWorks, the Local Elections in America Project, and Who Votes for Mayor.
Prior to Knight, Benjie served as Associate Director for Urban Development at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he supervised programming related to urbanization, the emerging science of cities, the informal transportation and informal settlements in megacities, cities, information and technology, and transportation and urban policy. He initiated the support that expanded WalkScore and built TransitScore; initiated CityCamp and Transportation Camp; and brought early support to new civic tech groups such as Code for America.
Benjamin has a a BA in Communications from the University of the Philippines, 1990 and an MA in Urban Planning from Harvard University, 2004.
Lois Scott was Chief Financial Officer for the City of Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel from 2011 to 2015, navigating the city through complex and challenging financial transactions including working with gabe Klein on a $100m TIFIA loan for the Chicago Riverwalk, approved in a record 8 months. Prior, Lois designed, financed and managed the financial plan for $100+ billion dollars of financing for infrastructure and related projects throughout the U.S. as Special Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative for Infrastructure Finance. She is also currently an advisor to Consolidated Land and Rail Australia, an organization developing 8 cities using a high-speed rail backbone with total costs estimated at over $100 billion. Lois recently was a featured speaker at the infrastructure conference in Wuhan, China. She is a recognized leader in the design, financing and implementation of public-private partnerships to build large scale infrastructure. Chair, Advisory Board RV Center for Municipal Finance at the Harris School of the University of Chicago. Former chair of the Management Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, tasked with managing day-to-day operations of the export credit agency of the US. Former White House Fellow. Founder, Municipal CFO Forum for 30 largest cities in US.
Greg Lindsay reports, writes, speaks, and consults on the future of cities and urban infrastructure. He is a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation — where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative — a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute. He is also a contributing writer for Fast Company and co-author of the critically acclaimed bestseller Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.
He is currently Urbanist-in-Residence at MINI’s startup incubator, Urban-X, and has previously advised Intel, Ericsson, Samsung, Audi, Chrysler, André Balazs Properties, Emaar, and Expo 2020, among other organizations. His work has been displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, and Habitat III.
Greg is also a two-time Jeopardy! champion (and the only human to go undefeated against IBM’s Watson).
Mr. Tangherlini recently announced that he has joined the Government-facing technology firm, SeamlessDocs, as the President of its Federal business unit. He also serves in a variety of advisory and support capacities with a number of technology firms including Notarize.com, Blue Planet and Coretex, as well as provides consulting and facilitation support to businesses and nonprofits. His interest is in bringing increased efficiency to business and government through the thoughtful application of technology and process reform. Until April of this year he was the Chief Operating Officer of Artemis Real Estate Partners, a real estate private equity firm with commercial real estate investments across the United States. As a principal of the firm, Mr. Tangherlini was responsible for developing and implementing operational activities. He joined the firm in 2015.
Prior to joining Artemis, Mr. Tangherlini served as Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), having been nominated to serve in the position by President Obama and confirmed by the US Senate. As the agency head of GSA since 2012, Mr. Tangherlini introduced new technologies, smarter acquisition platforms, innovative work spaces and entrepreneurial ventures such as 18F. He identified creative ways to leverage unused assets, and began using data driven decision making processes to help better serve the federal government and the American public.
Mr. Tangherlini has also served as the Chief Financial Officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2009 to 2013 (also a Senate confirmed position), where he was the principal policy advisor on the development and execution of the Treasury’s budget and performance plans. During that time he concurrently served as the Assistant Secretary for Management. Prior to his role at Treasury, he served as the District of Columbia City Administrator and Deputy Mayor from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, he served as the Interim General Manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). From 2000 to 2006, he served as Director of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation.
Mr. Tangherlini received a B.A. and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on a number of non-profit boards and lives with his wife and two daughters on Capitol Hill in the District.
David Vega-Barachowitz is an urban planner and designer based in New York City. His past experience includes a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from transportation, street design and placemaking initiatives to local government innovation, master planning, open space development, and urban design.
From 2011-2014, David served as the Director of the Designing Cities Initiative at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) in New York, NY. Working under the tutelage of former New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the NYC Department of Transportation, he spearheaded the production of NACTO’s Urban Street Design Guide and Urban Bikeway Design Guide, projects that aimed to change entrenched design standards for American city streets. While at NACTO, David developed and fostered an active association of transportation professionals working at the local level, focusing on topics ranging from bike share to green infrastructure and protected bikeways. Prior to his work with NACTO, David worked on a state-of- good-repair initiative at the New York City Transit Authority and as a planner at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. He holds a Master’s of City Planning in the City Design and Development from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (2016) and a B.A. from Columbia University in Urban Studies with Architecture (2010).
David is a visiting researcher at the Center for Advanced Urbanism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. He co-authored Start-up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun (Island Press, 2015), which he wrote in partnership with former Chicago and Washington D.C. Transportation Commissioner and entrepreneur Gabe Klein.
Steven Skadron has been the Mayor of the City of Aspen since June, 2013. He is committed to sustainable land use practices that support a healthy year-round community and a vibrant visitor-based economy. Under his leadership Aspen has achieved its goal of reaching 100% renewable energy in its municipal utility and tightened building codes that threatened small town character. He is currently spearheading an effort to bring next generation mobility options into Aspen to reduce people’s reliance on single occupancy vehicles.
Mayor Skadron previously served six years as a member of the Aspen City Council and is the principal of SpoonerSkadron LLC, a marketing communications firm he founded in 2003. He serves as an adjunct professor of E-Commerce at Colorado Mountain College’s Isaacson School, and as the President of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns focusing on policies to benefit and sustain mountain communities. He is a graduate of University of Minnesota and has a MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.
Dr. Pierre Vigilance is a public health practice leader with over 15 years executive-level experience in the non-profit, government, and academic sectors. He currently serves as the Associate Dean for Practice, and Associate Professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and has been at the school since 2011. At GW he has focuses on diversifying the experiential-learning portfolio for graduate students and alumni through innovative partnerships and courses, as well as expanding collaborations that are beneficial to both community partners and the school. As a member of the inaugural cross-disciplinary faculty cohort established in 2015 he began weaving design-thinking into the school’s portfolio, and serves as adviser to some of the spin-off ventures that have emerged as a result.
As the Commissioner of Health for Washington D.C. from 2008-2011 he managed the agency and it’s partners through various challenges and achieved successes in data reporting, capital development, partnership development, and emergency response. He has engaged in a routinely multi-sectoral approach to designing health programs, establishing partnerships, building teams and developing leadership, and approach that stemmed from his time working in the Baltimore community from 2000-2008 where his work ranged from coordinating case-management and employment services to health promotion and improving access to care for residents impacted by substance abuse, HIV, and chronic preventable illness.
His social impact focused strategic advisory framework is driven by strong communication skills, great working relationships, and both domestic and foreign public health practice experience. Dr. Vigilance serves on the board of D.C. SCORES in Washington, D.C., and recently joined the board of Mercy Health Systems in Philadelphia.
CityFi is an advisory services platform for top level city officials, CEO’s, and start-ups that need help to make change, fast. To do that, CityFi brings the best and the brightest change agents, often with varied industry and functional expertise to bear. So if you think that making money is fine, but making positive change is more important, then you understand CityFi.
We don’t typically “hire” full-time people into the firm, rather we bring resources to bear to solve a problem, and we believe in first rate service for the customer and the lion’s share of the profits going to the advisors on the case. The cases range from go-to-market strategies for new companies, or products and services being introduced into the urban ecosystem, to action agendas for mayors, to autonomous and shared-use service implementation plans that help transit and provide better equity in cities.
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