Director, Mansueto Institute
Luís M. A. Bettencourt is the Inaugural Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, as well as an External Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute. He was trained as a theoretical physicist and obtained his undergraduate degree from Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon, Portugal) in 1992, and his PhD from Imperial College (University of London, UK) in 1996 for research in statistical and high-energy physics models of the early Universe. He has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), Los Alamos National Laboratory (Director’s Fellow and Slansky Fellow) and at MIT (Center for Theoretical Physics). He has worked extensively on complex systems theory and on cities and urbanization, in particular. His research emphasizes the creation of new interdisciplinary synthesis to describe cities in quantitative and predictive ways, informed by classical theory from various disciplines and the growing availability of empirical data worldwide. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers and several edited books. His research has been featured in leading media venues, such as the New York Times, Nature, Wired, New Scientist, and the Smithsonian.
Executive Director, Mansueto Institute
Anne Dodge is the Executive Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation. Prior to joining the Institute, Anne led UChicago Urban, where she worked to make the University’s urban research more transparent and accessible, while serving as a guide to the University’s wide array of civic programs and nonprofit partnerships. Anne has also worked as an instructor at the Harris School of Public Policy’s Cultural Policy Center, where she taught a graduate practicum about creative placemaking. She has worked extensively at the intersection of arts and economic development, including as the interim Executive Director of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance and the Oral History Project Director for the National Public Housing Museum. She holds a Master’s in City Planning from MIT, where her master’s thesis won the 2006 Ralph Adams Cram Award for the best thesis in the School of Architecture and Planning, and BA from Harvard with a joint concentration in Visual and Environmental Studies and History.
Urban Doctoral Fellows Coordinator
Stephen is a Researcher at Chapin Hall. His work concentrates on community-based and systemic service responses in youth, education, and development. Dr. Baker was project director of a multi-year implementation and outcome evaluation of the Community Partnership for Protecting Children Initiative. He also served as project director for the multi-year evaluation of the Children, Youth, and Families Initiative, a project for integrating developmental and specialized services in Chicago neighborhoods. His most recent work has focused on school-centered youth- and community-development and systemic quality improvement systems for afterschool programs. He has served as an instructor for undergraduate and graduate classes at the University of Chicago, including courses on the history of social welfare, data for management and analysis, and research and evaluation. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Social Services Administration at the University of Chicago, where his dissertation focused on the decision-making processes of public child welfare caseworkers implementing family team meetings.
Graduate Research Assistant
Nilanjana Bhattacharya is an outgoing Masters in Public Policy candidate from the Harris School at the University of Chicago. Before coming to Harris, Nilanjana worked in the energy industry for four years across the value chain from project engineering to strategy. A civil engineer by undergraduate training, she has directed her skills and domain knowledge to issues of urban inequities. While at Harris, she has worked at the Mansueto Institute as a research assistant with the Million Neighborhoods project. As a recipient of the UChicago GRAD Global Impact Internship fund, she spent the summer of graduate school working with Slum Dwellers International in Cape Town on program evaluation strategies. She hopes to pursue a career in policy analysis and research that will address energy and environmental issues in cities of the Global South.
Director, Urban Center for Computation and Data
Charlie Catlett is the founding director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, UrbanCCD, which brings social, physical, and computational scientists together with artists, architects, technologists, and policy makers to explore science-based approaches to opportunities and challenges related to the understanding, design, and sustainable operation of cities. To this end, UrbanCCD brings expertise, tools, and resources to bear from computational modeling, data analytics, and embedded systems. He is also a Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. From 2007 to 2011, Charlie was the Chief Information Officer at Argonne National Laboratory, and from 2004 to 2007 he was Director of the National Science Foundation’s TeraGrid initiative – a nationally distributed supercomputing facility involving fifteen universities and federal laboratories. Before joining the University of Chicago and Argonne in 2000, Charlie was Chief Technology Officer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Recognized in 2014 as one of Chicago’s “Tech 50” technology leaders by Crain’s Chicago Business, Charlie is a Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Assistant Director of Communications, Mansueto Institute
Grace is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with over a decade of experience building visibility for mission-driven organizations and expanding local government’s use of technology and innovation to improve people’s lives. Previously, she was Digital Director for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, assisting with the overhaul of CHI 311, and Digital Communications Director for New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, where she led digital strategy to reach an audience of over 8.5 million New Yorkers online. As part of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, she also ran @nycgov, the City of New York’s official social media channels, and worked as Senior Marketing Manager at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Before entering politics and government, Grace was pre-med, worked for a newspaper in Bangkok during a coup, advocated for refugee women and children at the Women’s Refugee Commission, and studied abroad in Vietnam. Grace is a graduate of Brown University and the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs.
Project Assistant, Mansueto Institute
Heidi is an administrative professional with experience providing operational and project management support in a range of industries. Prior to her experience at the University of Chicago, Heidi served as the Operations Assistant at Krueck and Sexton Architects. She also worked for several years as a Gallery Office Assistant at the School of the Art Institute where she attended from 2011-2015. Heidi holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University. Off campus, she is dedicated to producing ceramics at Lillstreet Art Center.
Research Data Scientist, Mansueto Institute
Nico is a Research Data Scientist with the Mansueto Institute as well as the University of Chicago’s Research Computing Center. He holds a multi-disciplinary background in data science and urban research with a strong interest in harnessing advances in data and machine learning, which he is now applying to gain deeper insights into the science behind cities. In the past, he worked at Civis Analytics as a Senior Data Scientist where he combined predictive modeling and survey research to provide actionable guidance to organizations in the technology, local government, and political spaces. Before moving to Chicago, he spent six years at the Brookings Institution as an Associate Fellow, publishing numerous reports on global trade and urban development patterns and engineering new data resources to fill gaps in public data. Nico holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Studies from Macalester College and a Master of Science in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota.
Associate Director, Mansueto Institute
Diana is a project- and program-manager by trade and has spent her career helping mission-driven organizations operate more effectively to increase impact in their communities. She brings nearly a decade of experience working in municipal government and public-sector consulting, particularly on cross-sector, cross-functional partnerships. Prior to joining the Mansueto Institute, Diana worked as a senior consultant at Public Works Partners, helping government and nonprofit clients conceptualize new programs, secure stakeholder buy-in for organizational change, and implement program enhancements. She also spent several years working for the City of New York in communications, strategic planning, and relationship management positions at both the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and NYC Dept of Information Technology & Telecommunications. Diana received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Media Studies from Macalester College. She is a graduate of the New York Urban Fellows Program, NYU Wagner’s Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, and the StartingBloc Fellowship for Change Leaders.
Research Engineer, Mansueto Institute
Satej Soman is a graduate student in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy program at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. As a Research Engineer at the Mansueto Institute, Satej is responsible for building open-source geospatial software and scaling the data infrastucture for the Million Neighborhoods Project. Prior to Chicago, he led application engineering teams creating data analysis platforms for natural disaster response teams, healthcare providers, and financial institutions. Satej holds a B.S. in materials science and electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.