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.
Chief Innovation OfficerAmanda 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.
DirectorAlex 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.
Deputy DirectorJen Tolentino was previously the Vice President of Impact and Innovation at Rock the Vote, a national nonprofit focused on building the political power of young people. She lead the organization’s engagement in election administration, voting rights, and technology policy by identifying opportunities to increase access for young voters across the country through policy, innovation, and partnerships. During her four year tenure, she oversaw the registration of more than 2 million new voters and record-breaking youth turnout for a Midterm election in 2018: 71.2%. Prior to joining Rock the Vote, Jen led the national government outreach for the Voting Information Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the largest open data projects in the country and a partnership of Pew, Google and states to make voting information more accessible. Jen is a native Angeleno, receiving her BA in English from UC Riverside, and her MPP from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Civic DesignerDiamond James’s practice explores the intersection of race/space/class and design in American cities. 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 social 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 in 2018, she served as 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. She is a former Washington Post journalist and holds a baccalaureate journalism degree from Northwestern University.
Nidhi Singh Rathore
Design ResearcherNidhi is a Design Researcher with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Innovation Team. Presently, she is working on the themes of housing, displacement, civic engagement, and technology; through alternative research methods, critical approach, and design ethnography. She uses visual, digital, and sound media as tools to reflect on the socio-political relationship of innovation, culture, and hidden cyber-economies. Nidhi is also an artist with upcoming exhibitions in Shenzhen and Los Angeles; and an Editorial Researcher on the next LEAP Dialogues book, where the Editorial Team is working towards a holistic representation of Social Innovation work in different contexts, globally. A graduate from Media Design Practices, Art Center College of Design, she holds a Graduate Diploma in Graphic Design and Visual Communications from National Institute of Design, India.
Project ManagerBecky Gross is a Project Manager on the I-team and brings over 10 years of experience designing and implementing pilot programs related to educational equity and homelessness. Before joining the City of Los Angeles, she worked at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) as a project manager. Her most notable project was the Safe Parking Program, which she designed in conjunction with the City and County of LA to serve people living in their vehicles and provide them with resources to get on the path to housing. Prior to that, she was the general manager for A Sense of Home, where she played a central role in streamlining organizational efficiency and operations. She also worked at the Wonderful Company to develop strategic initiatives to increase educational resources for California’s Central Valley. Ms. Gross earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from USC.
Data ScientistBrendan 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.
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 DIRECTORJulienne is now a Senior Research Associate focused on Smart Cities for the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities located in Singapore.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGERJason is now a consultant with Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors working on innovating real estate development models.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGER
Nick is now an Electrical Engineering Associate at the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Former Deputy Director
Karli is now the Innovations Lead at the Stanford Social X-Change.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGERDavid is now Senior Director of Strategy & Implementation at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGERHelen is now a Management Analyst with the City of Los Angeles Personnel Department.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGERAmanda is now the Assistant to the City Manager for the City of San Merino.
FORMER DESIGN STRATEGY LEADBora is now an Assistant Professor at ArtCenter College of Design and is also on the Advisory Council of verynice.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGERVikram is now the Chief Technology and Engagement Officer for the City of Los Angeles Office of Finance.
FORMER PROJECT MANAGERKiana is now the Executive Officer for the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti.