Meet the What Works Cities Certification Standard Committee

The What Works Cities (WWC) Certification Standard Committee comprises leading experts from more than a dozen organizations that support cities. The Standard Committee has endorsed and lent its knowledge and experience to the development of What Works Cities Certification and the What Works Cities Standard. They serve as advisors during the Certification assessment process and actively participate in site visits with select cities.

Learn more about the members of the Standard Committee:

Beth Blauer is the Executive Director and founder of the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to leading GovEx, Beth designed and launched Socrata’s GovStat platform for federal, state, and local governments. Having entered public service as a juvenile probation officer in Maryland, Beth was tapped by then-Governor Martin O’Malley to lead his nationally recognized StateStat program.

Simone Brody is the Executive Director of What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative partnering with mayors and city leaders around the country to improve the effectiveness of local government. She previously led evaluation and accountability for the New York City Department of Education and began her career in finance, first in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and then at Ascend Ventures, investing in early stage education and technology companies.

Bill Eggers is the Executive Director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights, where he is responsible for the firm’s public sector thought leadership. He is the author of nine books, including The Solution Revolution: How Government, Business, and Social Enterprises are Teaming up to Solve Society’s Biggest Problems (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), which The Wall Street Journal calls “pulsating with new ideas about civic and business and philanthropic engagement” and was named to ten best-books-of-the-year lists. He coined the term Government 2.0 in a book by the same name, and his commentary has appeared in dozens of major media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune.

Stephen Goldsmith is Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and the Director of the Innovations in Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He also directs Data-Smart City Solutions, a project to highlight local government efforts to use new technologies that connect breakthroughs in the use of big data analytics with community input to reshape the relationship between government and citizens. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country’s leaders in public-private partnerships, competition, and privatization. Goldsmith was also the chief domestic policy advisor to the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, the Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the District Attorney for Marion County, Indiana, from 1979 to 1990.

Mark Headd is the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia, serving as one of the first municipal Chief Data Officers in the United States. He also served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America and as Director of the Delaware Government Information Center under Governor Thomas Carper. He currently works as an Innovation Specialist with the General Service Administration’s Technology Transformation Service, 18F.

Michael Hallsworth is Managing Director of BIT North America. He is also the former Director of Health and Tax at the Behavioural Insights Team. He has worked on health policy issues with the Department of Health, NHS England, Public Health England, the European Commission, and the World Economic Forum. He was previously a Senior Policy Advisor at the Cabinet Office and, while at HMRC, he won a Civil Service Award for running large-scale randomized controlled trials applying behavioral economics to increase tax collection. When at the Institute for Government he co-wrote the MINDSPACE report, which is one of the main frameworks used by the UK government to apply behavioral thinking to public policy. He has a Ph.D. in behavioral economics from Imperial College London, and a First Class MA and MPhil from the University of Cambridge. He has been published in The Lancet, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Economic Psychology, the Journal of Health Systems Research and Theory, the Oxford Review of Economic Policy and PLOS One.

Neil Kleiman is the Director of the New York University Wagner Innovation Labs. He has spent nearly 20 years at the intersection of policy, media, philanthropy, government, and academia, establishing new organizations and divisions within organizations focused on developing innovative and practical policy solutions. Kleiman has established a number of new initiatives, including projects with Bloomberg Philanthropies, federal agencies in the Obama administration, and the New Cities Foundation. Beginning in 2013, he began serving as Deputy Executive Director of Policy, Research, and Evaluation for the National Resource Network. Previously, he was the Director of Policy and Research at Living Cities. In 2008, in partnership with the Kennedy School at Harvard University, he helped to create the Project on Municipal Innovation. He has written a book with Stephen Goldsmith on urban governance reform entitled A New City Operating System (Brookings Institution Press, 2017).

Myung J. Lee is the Executive Director of Cities of Service, a national nonprofit organization that works with city leaders to tap the knowledge, creativity, and service of citizens to solve public problems together. Cities of Service represents a growing, nonpartisan coalition of more than 225 cities in the U.S. and UK. Myung has extensive nonprofit management and private-sector experience, and has previously served as a Deputy Commissioner with the City of New York Administration for Children’s Services and as a program officer and associate general counsel at the Corporation for National Service, where she helped to launch AmeriCorps.

Jeffrey B. Liebman is the Director of the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy. During the Obama Administration, Liebman served at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), first as Executive Associate Director and Chief Economist, and then as Acting Deputy Director. During the Clinton Administration, Liebman served as Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and coordinated the Administration’s Social Security reform technical working group.

Christiana McFarland is the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Research Director. She leads NLC’s efforts to transform city-level data into information that strengthens the capacity of city leaders and that raises awareness of challenges, trends, and successes in cities. Her areas of expertise include economic development, workforce development, and municipal finance.

Tara McGuinness is a Senior Fellow for Cities and Innovation at New America. In 2013, McGuinness was tapped by the White House to run the data-driven organizing and communications effort to sign up millions of Americans for the Affordable Care Act. She also served as a senior advisor to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she oversaw the federal government’s initiatives to support cities and towns. While at the White House, she directed the Cabinet-level White House Task Force on Community Solutions and oversaw the federal government teams working alongside city, non-profit, and philanthropic leaders in Detroit, Baltimore, Flint, and many other communities.

Michael Nutter is the former Mayor of Philadelphia. As Mayor, Nutter set an aggressive agenda for America’s fifth-largest city — devising the City’s innovative school-reform strategy, vowing to strengthen community policing through Philly Rising, and continuing to implement the nationally recognized GreenWorks Philadelphia initiative that is helping to make Philadelphia become the greenest city in America. Nutter managed the City by maintaining core services and reducing the City’s spending — most notably closing a $2.4 billion gap in Philadelphia’s five-year plan.

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America. She recently served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She spent eight years at CMP Media, where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, and the Independent Games Festival.

Stephanie Sykes is the Executive Director and General Counsel of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA). Prior to joining AAMA, she served as the Director of Governmental Affairs for African Americans working with the Office of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

John Wonderlich is the Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation and one of the nation’s foremost advocates for open government. He is a global authority on transparency policy, from legislation and accountability in Congress to ethics and information policy in the executive branch.