Stephen Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of Government and the Director of the Innovations in Government Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Goldsmith occupies the unique position of having approached issues of social innovation as a national leader across sectors—including government, for-profit corporations providing public services, and major nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.
Goldsmith served two terms as mayor of Indianapolis, America’s twelfth-largest city, where he earned a reputation as one of the country’s most innovative public officials. As mayor, he reduced government spending, cut the city's bureaucracy, held the line on taxes, eliminated counterproductive regulations, and identified more than $400 million in savings. He reinvested the savings by leading a transformation of downtown Indianapolis that has been held up as a national model. His efforts to revitalize urban neighborhoods and to transfer real authority to community groups received national acclaim.
Goldsmith then led reform as a special advisor to President Bush on faith-based and nonprofit initiatives and also served as the chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, serving for eight years under President Bush and then under President Obama, where he helped lead efforts to expand and strengthen the government’s service agenda. In May 2010, Goldsmith took a leave of absence from Harvard to serve as Deputy Mayor for Operations for the City of New York. Goldsmith focused on creating a City government for the 21st Century that was smaller, more efficient, and more cost effective; uses fewer vehicles; consolidates back office functions and reduces redundancies across agencies; shares data; and uses technology to better serve the public.
Goldsmith has authored a number of books, including Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector, Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship and The Twenty-First Century City'; Resurrecting Urban America.
Gigi Georges is the program director for the Innovation Strategies Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. She was previously a Managing Director and co-founder of the New York office of The Glover Park Group, a leading strategic communications consulting firm. Georges has also served as the communications director for the New York City Department of Education under Mayor Michael Bloomberg; as a special assistant to the President in the Clinton White House, where she coordinated domestic policy issues for the National Economic Council; and as Senator Hillary Clinton’s state director. In 2008-09, Georges was a Harvard Kennedy School Research Fellow. She is also co-author and editor of two books: 100 Successful College Application Essays and The Harvard Independent’s Insider’s Guide to Prep Schools, both published by Penguin Books. She holds a B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in public administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Tim Glynn Burke, research associate at the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, coordinates research, content development and dissemination related to social innovation. He managed the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation-funded Executive Session on Transforming Cities through Civic Entrepreneurship at Harvard. Tim is a 2006 graduate of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he studied international relations with a focus on democracy promotion in U.S. foreign policy. Prior to joining the Ash Center, Tim enjoyed nonprofit roles in the areas of affordable housing, youth development, and community relations. Tim received a B.S. in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997.