MEET THE TEAM
The i-team was established in the summer of 2015 as a ‘start up’ with a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of their Innovation Teams Grant Program. Our team brings together a diverse group of professionals with expertise in various subject matters and fields who are all committed to making the City of Los Angeles work better for its residents and businesses.
Amanda Daflos brings nearly twenty years of experience in designing, planning, implementing and managing large-scale public sector projects for local, state and federal government organizations as well as non-profit organizations in the US and abroad. She is passionate about civic innovation and has focused on business process transformation, organizational redesign, cost savings, change management and IT transformation with the goal of helping organizations perform at their highest capacity to best serve constituents. Her work has resulted in agencies winning awards such as the California Governor’s Social Innovation Spotlight Award and a National Association of Counties Recognition Award. Prior to joining the City, she served as a Senior Manager for Deloitte Consulting for nearly ten years and Director of Programs for an International non-profit. She has held leadership positions focused on community involvement, developing women in government and public sector education and presently serves as a Deputy to the Los Angeles Honorary Consulate General to Nepal, a role she accepted in the wake of the 2015 earthquake.
A former management consultant for Accenture, Karli has over 10 years of IT consulting experience in the public sector. She has led key strategic initiatives for over 15 state, federal, and local government agencies in the areas of healthcare, education, public safety, social services, human resources, and more. Before joining the City of LA, Karli helped the states of California, Washington, and Colorado establish and manage their health insurance marketplaces. She also started her own ice cream company in 2016. A self-described empath and relentless driver, Karli is passionate about using data, design, and project delivery to empower organizations and provide tangible solutions for residents. And ice cream…she’s also passionate about ice cream.
Amanda is a Project Manager with experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. While completing her graduate degree in Public Administration, Amanda most recently worked for the City of San Gabriel. While there, she managed the pollworker program for their municipal election and completed special projects for the Human Resources Department and Assistant City Manager. Previously, Amanda spent four years as an Associate and Account Manager at Winner & Mandabach Campaigns, a political consulting firm that specializes in running statewide ballot measure campaigns. She worked on more than 10 successful campaigns on a wide variety of policy areas, including clean energy, funding for local services, and business taxation.
Nicholas J. Matiasz
Nicholas J. Matiasz is a Senior Project Manager on the i-team with expertise in causal reasoning. In 2018, he received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from UCLA; his dissertation presents methods for merging research findings to build causal models, as well as software that helps researchers to reason causally about the systems they study. Before coming to Los Angeles, Nicholas was a research technician in the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Tufts University, where he also performed research in the Departments of Psychology and Computer Science.
Senior Data Scientist
Alex is a Project Manager and Data Scientist who has worked in industries ranging from Television Development to Transportation. Prior to joining the i-team, Alex worked as a Project Analyst for Xerox’s Parking Citation Processing and Collections contract for the City of Los Angeles, tracking citation payments through the ticket life cycle and developing strategies to increase collection rates and overall revenue. Alex also worked on Los Angeles’ smart-parking project LA Express Park, which utilizes sensor technology to support demand-based meter rates at over 6,000 on-street parking spaces in Downtown Los Angeles.
Diamond James’s practice explores the intersection of race/space/class and design in American cities. A former visual journalist at The Washington Post, she is interested in how arts, civic design and creative media mobilize and catalyze social change. She is committed to making human-centered design much more amiable by advocating for authentic, personal and community-driven narratives around public health, policy and intractable societal challenges. For the past two years, Diamond has enjoyed facilitating youth co-designs on the topics of sanctuary city immigration and underage drinking. She authored “Empowering Citizens Through Design,” a chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design, and has taught workshops for professionals. This year, she was Equity Editor on Baltimore’s 2018 Sustainability Plan Update. Diamond holds a Master of Arts in Social Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and baccalaureate journalism degree from Northwestern University.
Brendan is a Data Scientist with a passion for improving Los Angeles’s municipal services. Brendan works with the i-team to drive efforts around recruiting and hiring for the LAPD. He also focuses on initiatives related to housing and homelessness. Some of his work includes automating processes so that city staff can focus on high-value tasks rather than repetitive tasks. He also does intensive data analysis in order to create executive level dashboards/data visualizations/maps and creates predictive models to help stakeholders make informed decisions about the future. Prior to the i-team, Brendan worked as a Data Engineer for the AFL-CIO where he built up the organization’s technical infrastructure, improved its analytical reporting capabilities, and ensured that it had the freshest data available for campaigns.
Kiana leads the City’s Behavioral Science efforts and coordinates Los Angeles’ Smart City initiatives. She brings several years of experience conducting research in the field of social-behavioral sciences, building on her undergraduate studies in psychology with minors in math and criminology. She received her Master’s in Public Policy from UCLA with a specialization in tech/science policy and innovation management. Kiana first joined Mayor Garcetti’s Office in 2015 as a David Bohnett fellow in the Innovation and Performance Management Unit. Ultimately, Kiana hopes to help drive the use of technological and scientific advancements in promoting social equity and justice for women and underserved communities.
Helen Rigg is a Scottish native and proud Angeleno. She currently serves as a Project Manager, implementing innovative Housing and Homelessness programs in collaboration with the LA i-team. Her role includes developing and implementing strategies to empower renters, increase housing options and prevent and reduce homelessness in LA. Prior to this role, she was a member of the Mayor’s Innovation and Performance Management Unit. Helen has a B.A. in Economics, with a focus on Development and Behavioral Economics. Before joining the Mayor’s Office she worked in the nonprofit sector for organizations providing clean water to communities in Niger and India. In her spare time, she leads a Downtown LA Girl Scout troop.
Tanya Pineda serves as an Analyst within the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation. Her role focuses on Gender Equity for the City of Los Angeles while supporting the Innovation Team and Operation Innovation Team in gender-related efforts. Tanya has served as a Project Manager, Accounts Manager, and Educational Coordinator for various companies all of which have been women-owned enterprises. As a native Angeleno, she has a passion for creating sustainable change in Los Angeles and the opportunities that result from these initiatives. Through her work, she looks forward to contributing to the ongoing efforts of making Los Angeles one of the leading cities for gender equity.
i-team’s Extended Network
FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Julienne is now a Senior Research Associate focused on Smart Cities for the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities located in Singapore.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGER
David is now Senior Director of Strategy & Implementation at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGER
Jason is now a consultant with Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors working on innovating real estate development models.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGER
Bora is now an Assistant Professor at ArtCenter College of Design and is also on the Advisory Council of verynice.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGER
Vikram is now the Chief Technology and Engagement Officer for the City of Los Angeles Office of Finance.
Kim is now working as a Data Programs Lead at the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.
Nidhi is currently completing her MFA in Media Design Practices at Art Center College of Design.
Lauren is currently completing her MFA in Media Design Practices at Art Center College of Design.
Ajay is currently completing his MFA in Transportation Design at Art Center College of Design.
RJ is now a Director of the Social Innovation Program at Sequoyah School in Pasadena.
Former Data Engineer Fellow
Thao Nguyen is currently a Data Engineer at GUESS?, Inc.
Former Research Fellow
LeAnn is now an Exam Analyst at the Los Angeles Department of Personnel