Design, Technology, & Innovation Fellows

Our Goals


Work directly with departments to deliver the best possible services.

Our fellows work directly with city staff on teams that are empowered to learn, iterate, and deliver.


Introduce and refine practices for user-centered design.

We demonstrate and share how to bring research, prototyping, and testing into the delivery of all city services.


Introduce and refine practices for iterative, open-source development.

We demonstrate and share how to build modular, sustainable software that responds to changing needs.


Establish a creative culture that inspires more people to join the city.

We challenge ourselves to create an environment where we can do the best work of our careers.

Innovation Office Staff

Portrait of Kerry O'Connor

Kerry O'Connor

Chief Innovation Officer

I worked at the U.S. Department of State, where I established an innovation unit—the Research and Design Center in the Office of the Secretary of State—which offers research, consulting, brainstorming facilitation, and strategic design services.

Portrait of Sabine Romero

Sabine Romero

Acting Chief Administrative Officer

I became the OOI’s Acting Chief Administrative Officer to provide implementation support that “clears the lane” for amazing projects; contribute to thought leadership on innovation management; and be part of cutting-edge open government work.

Portrait of Ben Guhin

Ben Guhin

Program Lead

There hasn't been a better time to work in design and technology in government, and Austin is the perfect place to show what's possible.

Portrait of Daniel Honker

Daniel Honker

Portfolio Manager

I’m passionate about organizing groups to solve difficult challenges—and get to action. Public service is in my blood, so I’m excited to be part of the Innovation Office as both change agent and servant for Austin.

Current Fellows

Portrait of Céline Thibault

Céline Thibault

Researcher & Designer

As a fellow, I partner with city teams to research, develop, and test ideas that have the potential to radically improve our ability to serve residents. There’s never a dull moment and there’s always another creative thinker to provide feedback and challenge my ideas.

Portrait of Julia Byron

Julia Byron

User Researcher

The fellowship gives me an opportunity to work with all corners of society, rather than the few who can afford consumer products. I want to help Austin’s residents get the most out of our government and help the government better serve the community.

Portrait of W Lincoln Neiger

W Lincoln Neiger

Service Designer

How did I end up here? What am I doing? Who are all these immense people? Just as stars suggest constellations, time has propelled us into one another. Here we are. Ready to roll up our sleeves and connect the dots.

Portrait of Katherine Duong

Katherine Duong

Design Researcher

My expertise is in understanding human behavior and uncovering unmet needs. This Fellowship gives me the opportunity to bring the stories and experiences of Austin Residents back to City Hall to influence city-wide policies and solutions.

Portrait of Marni Wilhite Mees

Marni Wilhite Mees

Product Manager

How could I pass up the opportunity for measurable impact? Joining was and continues to be so close to the perfect dream that I am constantly pinching myself to ensure that I really found a place where my passion and expertise align so perfectly.

Portrait of Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Software Developer

I discovered the innovation office when looking for open source development opportunities. As a fellow, I am incredibly lucky to have a chance to write code that solves real world problems and share it with the world.

Portrait of Laura Trujillo

Laura Trujillo

Content Strategist

Being a fellow gives me a chance to serve Austin. I was raised to be involved with local government, but I never imagined being a public servant could be this exciting! As a fellow, I help solve the challenges residents and City departments face.

Portrait of Courtney Morgan

Courtney Morgan

Content Strategist

In the Fellowship, my ability to improve upon complex systems and my expertise in advertising, branding, and strategy is used to help the City of Austin better serve residents. We create innovative and accessible solutions to many public challenges.

Portrait of Taylor Cook

Taylor Cook

Project Manager

I became a Fellow because I enjoy tackling big problems and working with motivated and creative people. I want to help Austin prove that it is possible for the public sector to be a positive force in people’s lives.

Portrait of Mateo Clarke

Mateo Clarke

Front End Engineer

While serving as the local Code for America Brigade Captain and on the Community Tech Commission, I saw Innovation Office pioneering the modernization of the City’s tech capabilities. I joined the DTI Fellowship to turn my passion into my day job.

Portrait of Simi Damani

Simi Damani

Software Developer

After a 10 year vision quest through the start-up landscape of Austin, I came across a band of research, content and design experts dedicated to delivering modern and empathic solutions to residents. FINAAALLLY!!! The Innovation office marries my "professional" software experience with my desire to give back to the community that I've been a resident of for 25 years. And just check out the folks I get to work with, y'all. They're pretty rad.

Portrait of Tori Breitling

Tori Breitling

Experience Design

I’m a huge fan of technology, but have been increasingly less enthusiastic about how it’s impacting us collectively. As a fellow I can still work in technology while making positive contribution to a City in which I have lived for more than 30 years.

Portrait of Ben Weatherman

Ben Weatherman

Software Developer

I love being a fellow because I get to work with brilliant people, open source software, and help Austinites stay weird. Sloths rule everything around me.