Civic Innovation Challenge Team


Executive Director, MetroLab Network

Ben serves as Executive Director of MetroLab Network, having initially served as Interim Director of the organization following its launch. Prior to that role, Ben served as a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he was responsible for policy development pertaining to state and local government finance, with a particular focus on infrastructure policy. He worked closely with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy on the organization and launch of MetroLab Network. Prior to his role at Treasury, Ben worked at Morgan Stanley, where he provided investment banking services to state and local government clients. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Senior Fellow for the Civic Innovation Challenge, MetroLab Network

Mark K. Dowd is a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley where he is working with cities to find innovative ways to accelerate the adoption of new mobility technologies. He served as a Senior Advisor in the White House Office of Management and Budget until January 20th, 2017. Prior to joining the White House, Mark was a Senior Advisor to Secretary Foxx and a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology where he worked on issues related to technology and innovation. Mark is the architect of the Smart City Challenge that fundamentally changed the way American cities approach mobility. Mark practiced law for thirteen years in New York City at the law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel. Mark attended Rutgers College and Seton Hall University School of Law.


Director of Strategy and Operations, MetroLab Network

Katy is the Director of Strategy and Operations at MetroLab Network. Her work focuses on leading engagement on key initiatives, including the current partnership with the National Science Foundation to design the Civic Innovation Challenge. She manages the organizational spinout to a non-profit organization, including the finances and operations of the organization. Prior to MetroLab, Katy worked with the City of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University on their university research partnership. She holds a M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University as well as a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh. You can contact Katy at katy (dot) getsie (at) metrolabnetwork (dot) org to discuss programs, new partnerships and initiatives, the Civic Innovation Challenge, or for any finance or operations related questions.


Director of External Programs and Communications, MetroLab Network

Stefania is the Director of External Programs and Communications at MetroLab Network, focused on deploying programs, creating communications content and implementing MetroLab’s Data Science and Human Services portfolio among other activities. Stefania has spent her career working at the nexus of science, technology and society, forging bridges between technical and nontechnical communities in this space. Prior to MetroLab, she served as a Science & Innovation Officer at the British Consulate-General in San Francisco and as an External Development Manager at CRDF Global in Arlington, VA. She holds a M.A. in Science and Technology Policy from George Washington University and a B.A. in International Studies from American University. Contact Stefania (stefania (dot) nava (at) metrolabnetwork (dot) org ) if you are interested in engaging MetroLab on programs, Network membership, corporate engagement, and communications (including social media, newsletters and website).


Program Manager, MetroLab Network

Josh is responsible for program management of the Civic Innovation Challenge, a project supported by the National Science Foundation. He also supports the Innovation of the Month series, civic research among members, and the Annual Summit for innovation in the urban environment. Prior to his role at MetroLab, Josh worked for a startup integrating technology into the built environment. As a Solutions Architect, he changed the way the architecture and construction industries leverage data to promote sustainable materials, affordable housing, and efficient design. Josh studied Information Systems, Computer Science, and Entrepreneurship at Gonzaga University in Washington State. While at Gonzaga, he managed a consulting firm empowering academic research to grow local entrepreneurs and their ventures.