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About the Innovation Office

Kerry O'Connor, Chief Innovation Officer

Kerry O'Connor







Kerry O'Connor is Austin's Chief Innovation Officer, having joined the City of Austin on March 24, 2014. Previously, Kerry worked at the U.S. Department of State, where she established an innovation unit called the Research and Design Center in the Office of the Secretary of State, which offers research, consulting, brainstorming facilitation, and strategic design services. She developed and managed an employee idea generation program, helped architect sustainable management reforms, coordinated logistics for the Pittsburgh G20 Summit, served as an executive staffer, and improved programs and operations at two U.S. Embassies. O’Connor holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from James Madison University.


Daniel Honker

Daniel Honker

Daniel Honker is the portfolio manager of the City of Austin’s Office of Innovation. Having joined the City of Austin in March 2015, he helps groups build effective teams and lay pathways to solving difficult challenges—and act on them. Daniel previously worked as a consultant with Federal Government agencies focused on improving performance, opening government, and using data to make decisions. A native Texan, Daniel received his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Maura Newell

Maura Newell

Maura Newell is a Bloomberg Fellow with the Innovation Office. She joined the Innovation Office in September 2015 to help shape a starter innovation project related to ending homelessness. Prior to joining the city, Maura worked as a Supportive Housing AmeriCorp Case Manager with Caritas Austin. She previously worked as a Civic Scholar at the The Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service in New Jersey. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology and Art and holds a Certificate in Civic Engagement from Rutgers University.

Sabine Romero

Sabine Romero is the Innovation Office's Chief Administrative Officer.  She joined the team in October 2016 to provide big-picture project implementation, and contribute to thought leadership on innovation management.  Her background includes twenty years in public service supporting government accountability, transparency, and civic involvement.  Her lead project in the Innovation Office is the city's participation in the Open Government Partnership. She is a graduate of Scripps College, the University of Texas School of Law, the Coro Fellows Program, and Leadership Austin.