Design, Technology, & Innovation Fellows
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Our Goals

1

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.

2

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.

3

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

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

4

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 Matt Langan

Matt Langan

Product Manager

It looked like the perfect opportunity to work on a combination of human and technology problems at scale. I believe in the positive impact of the work and the philosophies that drive it.

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 Eleni Gesch-Karamanlidis

Eleni Gesch-Karamanlidis

Conversation Designer

I was drawn to be a fellow because I was looking for my next adventure; an environment where I could help build something innovative, and help build meaningful connections across the City and its citizens.

Portrait of Diana Turner

Diana Turner

UX Designer & Researcher

I’m a fellow because I wanted to spend my time doing work that’s more impactful than making websites for sandwiches. A collaborative design process is a great way to put democracy into action; let's build solutions with the residents that we serve!

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 Adam Wiedemann

Adam Wiedemann

Product Manager

I was excited to use everyday tech skills to solve real problems for real people. Plus I look forward to the situational challenges and learning opportunities that the job has to offer. The opportunities to do good work are endless!

Portrait of Griselda Castillo

Griselda Castillo

Copywriter

Accessible communication has the power to unite us, help us understand complex city issues and inspire us to do better. I’m a fellow because the Innovation Office is the space where I can do the most good—for my city, my colleagues and my craft.

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 Ainee Athar

Ainee Athar

Engagement Strategist

Technology and design are critical to make sure we have a responsive, equitable, and transparent city government. I joined the Office because as our city faces escalating challenges, a culture of innovation is essential to find meaningful solutions.