Meet the What Works Cities Certification Standard Committee

What Works Cities
15 min readMay 31, 2023


The What Works Cities (WWC) Certification Standard Committee comprises leading experts from a dozen organizations that support cities. The Standard Committee has endorsed and lent its knowledge and experience to the development of What Works Cities Certification and the What Works Cities Standard. They serve as advisors during the Certification Assessment process and actively participate in site visits with select cities.

Learn more about the members of the Standard Committee:

Dr. Robert Blaine

Dr. Robert Blaine is the Senior Executive and Director for the National League of Cities’ Leadership, Education, Advancement, and Development (LEAD) Center. LEAD consists of the Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute); the Local Infrastructure Hub; and the National League of Cities University. LEAD is dedicated to building opportunities in communities through technical assistance, leadership development, and engagement.

Most recently, Dr. Blaine served as the City of Jackson’s Chief Administrative Officer under Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. In that role, he oversaw the City’s 2,200 employees and managed an annual budget of more than $500 million. Dr. Blaine also led the development and efficient implementation of the City of Jackson’s Strategic Plan which promotes a “dignity economy” — an economic model in which municipal investments were made towards the inherit dignity of every citizen in Jackson through early childhood success, financial empowerment and equitable workforce development.

A nationally-recognized thought leader in the areas of public service, education and music, Dr.

Blaine has presented on the TEDx stage on the topics of New Environments for New Brains and The Dignity Economy and was recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013.

He previously served as the Associate Provost at Tougaloo College and as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and CyberLearning, Director of Orchestral Studies, and Professor of Music at Jackson State University.

Beth Blauer

Beth Blauer is the Associate Vice Provost for Public Sector Innovation at Johns Hopkins University. She is the former Executive Director and co-founder of the Centers for Civic Impact at Johns Hopkins University (Civic Impact). As a dedicated public servant and international expert on government performance programs for more than fifteen years, Beth Blauer spent her career working to improve people’s lives by bringing data into governments’ decision-making processes.

Blauer founded Civic Impact, originally as the Center for Government Excellence, in 2015 and since then, has successfully worked with over 140 mayors from around the globe to advance the use of data and evidence. She has built the organization to be a leader in data-driven insights for city leaders and public sector practitioners across the country and around the world.

Prior to leading the Centers for Civic Impact, Blauer designed and launched Socrata’s GovStat platform for federal, state, and local governments.

Having entered public service as a juvenile probation officer in Maryland, Blauer was quickly promoted within the department, quickly becoming the Chief of Staff. It was in this capacity she began working on the creation and implementation of “StateStat.” In 2008, then Governor Martin O’Malley asked Blauer to lead his nationally recognized StateStat program.

Blauer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland and holds a JD from New York Law School. She is a recipient of the 2012 CAP award for her work on Maryland’s StateStat.

William Eggers

William D. Eggers is the Executive Director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights where he is responsible for the firm’s public sector thought leadership. He is the author of numerous books. His new book, Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems (Harvard Review Business Press (2023)), shows how governments at all levels can more effectively tackle society’s toughest challenges by collaborating with bridgebuilders who bring together different parts of government and tap into other sectors of society.

His other books include: Delivering on Digital, The Solution Revolution, named to ten best-book-of-the-year lists, The Washington Post best seller If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, The Public Innovator’s Playbook, and Governing by Network (2004), the winner of the Louis Brownlow book award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of public administration. He coined the term Government 2.0 in a book by the same name. His books have won numerous other national best-book awards.

He also serves as a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration, a governance futures council member at the World Economic Forum, an advisory board member at What Works Cities and chairs the Leadership Council for New America.

His commentary has appeared in dozens of major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and The Guardian. He can be reached at or on twitter @wdeggers.

Marcelo Facchina

Marcelo Facchina currently serves as Principal Executive in Smart Cities and Digital Government at CAF — Development Bank of Latin America, where he promotes the digital transition of cities across the region. Over the past decade, Marcelo has been actively involved in more than 50 projects lying in the intersection of technology, urban development, governance, and innovation in several countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. He has authored, co-authored and coordinated several publications in the domain of smart cities, data governance, digital rights and govtech. Currently he leads a host of initiatives aimed at enhancing adequate governance mechanisms for the digital transformation of cities, promoting digital rights in local contexts, building capacity in local governments, as well as putting data, technology and innovation to the service of governments and citizens alike. He is Brazilian national, holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Brasilia, and masters degrees in Development Studies at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and Public Policy at the Central European University.

Emma Gawen

Emma Gawen leads the Americas business at Public Digital — a global digital transformation consultancy. Emma has extensive experience working with governments and multilateral organizations around the world. She advises senior government and political leaders on digital strategy, creating the conditions for success for digital & data teams, and organization design informed by internet-era ways of working.

She has led research projects for Public Digital on topics including: best practices from leading economies in government digital transformation, how to build digital government teams, operating models for smart cities, and adoption of open source for governments.

Prior to Public Digital, Emma worked as a senior civil servant in the UK and New Zealand governments, leading their early digital transformation efforts. She founded the Digital Nations group in 2012 when working for the UK Government Digital Service. She started her career at the UK Ministry of Justice.

Lourdes German

Lourdes German began her career as an attorney advising state and local governments in their public finance transactions at the international law firm Palmer & Dodge (now Locke Lord, LLP). Following that work, Lourdes was one of the founding team members of the public finance department at Fidelity Investments, where she served as a Vice President who launched and led the company’s investment banking efforts in the Northeast and opened Fidelity’s New York office for public finance investment banking. Following Fidelity, Lourdes’ professional experiences include: serving as General Counsel and Vice President of Municipal Credit Research at Breckinridge Capital Advisors; serving as a Director of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to grow a global campaign on municipal fiscal health; serving on the team of experts advising the United Nations Municipal Finance Policy Unit in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals effort; and serving as a one of the co-authors of the book, Finance for City Leaders, published by the United Nations Press in 2017.

Dr. Michael Hallsworth

Dr. Michael Hallsworth is Managing Director of BIT Americas. Before his current role, Michael led BIT’s global work on health and tax for five years. Michael was previously a Senior Policy Advisor in the Cabinet Office of the UK government and has in-depth experience of both policy development and service delivery for national governments and international organizations. Michael has also been a leading figure in developing the field of applying behavioral science to government, having authored several influential frameworks such as EAST, Behavioral Government, and the MINDSPACE report (which has been cited more than 800 times to date). His work has been published in, among others, The Lancet, the Journal of Public Economics, and Nature Human Behaviour. He is the author of the book Behavioral Insights (MIT Press, 2020).

Michael has a PhD in behavioral economics from Imperial College London, and a First Class MA and MPhil from the University of Cambridge. He is an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Columbia University and an Honorary Lecturer at Imperial College London.

Rochelle Haynes

Rochelle Haynes is the Managing Director of What Works Cities Certification. Rochelle’s multi-sector career has a common thread of focusing on policies and programs that seek to identify solutions to ending the cycle of poverty in vulnerable communities. She has had the privilege to serve individuals, families, and children through work in government, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors with an expertise in anti-poverty programs that span from birth to adulthood.

Rochelle began her career at the United Spinal Association working on legislation in the areas of affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities. While her career in New York City government extends from affordable housing to social services where she worked to guide policies and improve operations for public benefit programs including a tenure as Chief of Staff at NYC’s Department of Homeless Services. As Chief of Staff, she secured over $20M in funding to provide additional social support services to families experiencing homelessness. After 10 years in municipal government, Rochelle joined 100 Resilient Cities -Rockefeller Foundation, where she led global operations and strategy for the City Practice Management team and was responsible for the delivery of the 100RC core program which included leveraging global partnerships and practices to ensure successful implementation. In her most recent role, she served as Vice President of the US Social Impact team at Sesame Workshop, where she developed and led the scaling strategy of the Sesame Street in Communities initiative which expanded from 3 to 13 cities and regions serving over 75,000 vulnerable kids and families with resources to foster healthy development. Rochelle also works as an independent consultant with a specialty in social impact, strategic planning, policy, and government affairs where she advises on anti-poverty and economic mobility policies, programs, and initiatives.

Rochelle earned dual Masters’ degrees in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from Princeton University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University at Albany. She currently resides as a Board Member of the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy and as an Advisory Council Member of the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Michele Jolin

Michele Jolin is the CEO and Co-Founder for Results for America. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Earlier in her career, Michele was appointed in 2010 to be a Member of President Barack Obama’s White House Council for Community Solutions. She additionally served as a Senior Advisor for Social Innovation at the White House under President Obama, where she designed and launched the first Social Innovation Fund. Prior to that she was a member of President Obama’s Presidential Transition Team, where she helped create the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and the new Obama Administration’s social innovation policy agenda. Before joining the White House, Michele led the Presidential Transition Project at the Center for American Progress and co-edited the book Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President.

Neil Kleiman

Neil Kleiman has spent 25 years building a career at the intersection of policy, philanthropy, government, and academia. He founded an urban issues think tank, established new university degree programs, and developed innovative and practical policy solutions for dozens of cities across the United States. He has also written and edited over thirty policy reports, with his work featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio.

Kleiman is an urban policy professor at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and is a senior fellow at the Burnes Center for Social Change and the GovLab. He also holds an appointment at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. He teaches courses on policy formation, urban innovation, and new approaches to managing technology and big data. In 2017, he published A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative and Distributed Governance on Brookings Institution Press. He is the research director of the Mayors Leadership Institute on Smart Cities, a partnership effort with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. With partners at the NYU School of Medicine, he helped build; one of the only consistently updated dashboards tracking local level health and public health data for over 900 cities nationwide. In 2022, he published one of the first-ever assessments of public sector organizational culture in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Kennedy School at Harvard. At Tulane University, Kleiman developed a new Master of Public Administration program that launched in 2020.

Kleiman was previously Director of Policy at Living Cities, a collaborative of the world’s largest foundations and corporate philanthropies. He began his career as the founding director of the Center for an Urban Future, a New York-based policy think tank.

Jeffrey Liebman

Jeffrey Liebman is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, where he teaches courses in social policy, public sector economics, government innovation, and American economic policy. In his research, he studies tax and budget policy, social insurance, poverty, and income inequality. For the past seven years, his Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab has been providing pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments interested in improving the results they achieve for their citizens. During the first two years of the Obama Administration, Liebman served at OMB, first as Executive Associate Director and Chief Economist and then as Acting Deputy Director. From 1998 to 1999, he served as Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and coordinated the Clinton Administration’s Social Security reform technical working group.

Lou Moore

Lou Moore is the Chief Technology Officer at Code for America. Lou most recently served as VP of Software at Jawbone where he led software development from applications to infrastructure, and focused on delivering products that helped people to live happier, healthier, and longer. He got his start building high-performance technical teams and effective consumer products at scale while serving as Director of Product Engineering at social networking destination hi5. Lou hails from Wisconsin originally and holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Northwestern University. He is a member of CTOs For Good.

Michael Nutter

After serving nearly 15 years on the Philadelphia City Council, Michael A. Nutter was elected the 98th Mayor of his hometown in November 2007 and took office in January 2008. At his inaugural address, Mayor Nutter pledged to lower crime, improve educational attainment rates, make Philadelphia the greenest city in America and attract new businesses and residents to the city. He also promised to lead an ethical and transparent government focused on providing high quality, efficient and effective customer service.

With the support of an experienced, professional staff, Mayor Nutter made significant progress on every pledge: homicides were at an almost-50-year low at the end of his tenure; high school graduation and college degree attainment rates increased significantly; Philadelphia added hundreds of miles in bike lanes and trails and launched the first low-income-friendly bike share system in America, called Indego; and Philadelphia’s population has grown every year since 2008, including the largest percentage of millennial population growth in the nation. He actively recruited businesses, both domestic and international, to set up shop in Philadelphia through tax reform, better business services and international trade missions. And, despite the damaging impact of the Great Recession, Philadelphia’s economy demonstrated significant growth — since January 2014, more than $11.5 billion of economic development projects have been completed, were announced or are currently under construction.

Mayor Nutter made a commitment to strong financial stewardship, vigorously managing the City through the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. As a result, Philadelphia’s credit rating was upgraded to the “A” category by the three major credit rating agencies for the first time since the 1970s.

In 2013, Philadelphia City Council passed his Actual Value Initiative, the city’s first-ever property assessment system overhaul, transforming a broken and corrupt system into one that is fair, accurate and understandable.

In affiliation with the National League of Cities, Mayor Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu launched Cities United, an initiative aimed at creating partnerships between cities, nonprofits and other stakeholders to combat violence and crime among African-American men and boys. He also served on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Council.

In June 2013, Mayor Nutter concluded his tenure as President of the United States Conference of Mayors, which is the official nonpartisan organization of almost 1,300 U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 or more. As president, Mayor Nutter represented the Conference by strengthening federal-city relationships and promoting the development of effective national urban policy. In June 2015, Mayor Nutter completed his year of service as President of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, which brings together municipal government officials from across the Commonwealth to advance policy initiatives statewide.

In 2011, Esquire named Mayor Nutter to its Americans of the Year list and in 2014, he was named Public Official of the Year by Governing. During his tenure, the Philadelphia City government received more than 150 awards for innovative programs, good government practices and excellence.

Since leaving public service on January 4, 2016, Mayor Nutter has remained active in public policy, government and civic life. In the first three months of this year, a series of announcements were made demonstrating his continued commitment to public service and civic engagement. In January, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Mayor Nutter accepted an appointment to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. The Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) announced his appointment as Professor of Professional Practice. In February, the news media organization CNN announced that Mayor Nutter became a political commentator for the network and in March, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced his appointment as a Senior Fellow and national spokesperson for the What Works Cities program, working with mayors all across the United States. Mayor Nutter maintains active involvement in political campaigns, the corporate community and academic institutions across the country. In October 2022, the US Treasury Department appointed him to serve as Chair on the inaugural Formal Advisory Committee on Racial Equity.

Mayor Nutter is a lifelong Philadelphian, born and raised in West Philadelphia and educated at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been dedicated to public service since his youth. Mayor Nutter is happily married to his wife, Lisa, and a proud parent to Christian and Olivia.

Carole Saab

Carole is a tireless champion for cities and communities, driving an ambitious vision for local government leadership in building a more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive Canada.

She is an accomplished strategist with over a decade of experience in federal and municipal advocacy and has been a driving force behind watershed achievements for municipalities securing unprecedented investment and progress for cities and communities, including billions in recent critical operation funding and permanent public transit funding. She continues to be instrumental in pushing for progress on housing and homelessness, climate action, universal broadband, and more.

Carole currently leads Canada’s national municipal association, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). FCM is home to the Big City Mayors’ Caucus and administers a suite of national and international programs. This includes the thriving Green Municipal Fund, a $2.1 billion fund providing resources and tools to help communities bring municipal sustainability projects to life, including a new $530M investment in the Green Municipal Fund to support, accelerate, and scale up community-based climate adaptation initiatives. Carole’s leadership and effective team-building have positioned FCM as one of the most respected and effective advocacy organizations in Canada.

Carole is consistently voted as one of the top lobbyists in the country and was recently named a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto, where she brings her extensive knowledge and expertise to their mission of enhancing public policy in Canada.



What Works Cities

Helping leading cities across the U.S. use data and evidence to improve results for their residents. Launched by @BloombergDotOrg in April 2015.