Jen Duthie Named to MetroLab Steering Committee
Launched in September 2015 as part of the White House Smart Cities initiative, MetroLab Network is a national network of more than 30 city-university (and county-university) partnerships. Its cities and universities are developing technologies and policy approaches that address challenges facing urban areas including: inequality in income, health, mobility, security and opportunity; aging infrastructure; and environmental sustainability and resiliency. University partners, such as UT Austin, serve as research and development arms while city government partners serve as testbeds to deploy solutions. Its initial efforts are focusing on four areas: traffic management, water & green infrastructure, urban sensing, and data & social services.
MetroLab recently announced its Executive Steering Committee, comprising nine accomplished city and university officials, to help guide the network’s activity. One of the appointees is Dr. Jen Duthie, Director of CTR’s Network Modeling Center and a D-STOP researcher. As one of the goals of MetroLab is to pair cities and universities to bring data, analytics, and innovation to local government, Duthie is a natural fit for such a role, given her extensive work in this area, such as the Data Rodeo she is creating for the Central Texas region. The Data Rodeo is an effort to remake the face of urban analytics in Austin and beyond, and will bring multiple resources together to enable the broader transportation community to take advantage of the latent potential of the area’s dynamic ecosystem. The project was recently featured in the ITS Texas June newsletter.
“The Executive Steering Committee is a reflection of the need to build multi-disciplinary teams to address the complexities that cities face.” said MetroLab Network Interim Director Ben Levine. “It includes a former Mayor now serving in academia, leading academics studying and implementing solutions in cities, and innovators in city government.”
Members of the Executive Steering Committee will work closely with Martin J. O’Malley, Senior Fellow at MetroLab Network, who served as the 61st Governor of Maryland and 47th Mayor of Baltimore.
“This group will help shape the next wave of innovation in our cities,” said Governor O’Malley. “They will set an example for the types of collaborative efforts critical to addressing the challenges facing our metropolitan areas.”
The eight other members of the MetroLab Executive Steering Committee include:
- Lisa Camp, Case Western Reserve University, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the School of Engineering
- Charlie Catlett, University of Chicago, Argonne National Lab, Director of the Urban Center for Computation & Data
- Bill Fulton, Rice University, Director of the Kinder Institute
- Santiago Garces, City of South Bend, Chief Innovation Officer
- Nigel Jacob, City of Boston, Co-Founder, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
- Debra Lam, City of Pittsburgh, Chief Innovation and Performance Officer
- Michael Mattmiller, City of Seattle, Chief Technology Officer
- Charles Ramdatt, City of Orlando, Deputy Public Works Director
MetroLab Network is supported by a $1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the fiduciary of MetroLab Network. Rick Stafford, of Carnegie Mellon, will serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Steering Committee. Full bios of all the steering committee members can be found on the MetroLab Network website.