The promise of excitement and a desire to make a difference drew me to the Innovation Team. When I first came to Syracuse in 2012, I was fairly unfamiliar with the majority of the city. I worked in economic development for a few years and came to understand just how valuable many of our Syracuse assets and resources were.  

Now, after years of exploring and experiencing everything that Syracuse has to offer, I realize just how great of a place it really is. Syracuse is a city that is blessed with diversity, the four seasons, and a rich history. It has allowed me to develop new passions and interests such as cycling, art, food, and design. 

My position with the i-team gives me the opportunity to make Syracuse an even better place, and to showcase why it is a great community to live, work, and play in. I hope that my work with the
i-team will encourage others to love this city as much as I do.

Connect with Adria

Email: afinch@syrgov.net | Twitter: @AdriaF




I first came to Syracuse as an undergraduate at Syracuse University. After moving away for several years, teaching English in South Korea and working for a consulting firm in Washington, DC, I came back to Syracuse to work for my alma mater.

Now working for the Innovation Team, I gather and analyze data, and make data-driven recommendations to improve city services. I like to spend my free time with my family exploring as much as I can in Central New York, from the beautiful outdoors, to summer festivals, to cheering on the Orange in the Dome.

Connect with Sam

Email: sedelstein@syrgov.net | Twitter: @Samedelstein 




I came to Syracuse in 2012 as an undergraduate at Syracuse University, where I earned my BA in public relations and public policy. Over the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience many of the wonderful things this city has to offer and to become a part of this amazing community. I am excited to help make Syracuse an even greater place to be, and to continue to explore Central New York while I do it.

I’m currently serving as Innovation Design Lead for the Syracuse i-team, where I use project management, human-centered design, and communications skills to help develop new and innovative policy solutions to address some of the city’s biggest challenges and to connect with the residents we serve.

                                                                                             Connect with Samantha

                                                                                             Email: slinnett@syrgov.net | Twitter: @SamanthaJ011




With a background in physics and data analysis, I wanted to apply my technical skills to a good cause. When I found out about the Innovation Team in Syracuse, the multidisciplinary approach and quantitative measures of progress drew me to the work.

I work primarily on project management and data analytics—designing and implementing data-driven approaches to the city’s challenges. In my free time, I love to explore new places, paint, and spend time with friends and family.

Connect with Meriem

Email: mbahira@syrgov.net




I was born in Syracuse and grew up in Central New York. After graduating from Ithaca College in 2012, I moved out of state to pursue a graduate degree before starting my professional career in NYC, Connecticut, and then working for the City of Burlington in Vermont. In Burlington, I was deeply involved in the city’s BTVStat initiative that focused on using data to inform decision making and improve service delivery to the city’s residents.

I came back to Syracuse in the summer of 2018 to join the city as a data analyst in the Office of Accountability, Performance, and Innovation. My work focuses on increasing transparency, improving efficiency, and keeping Syracuse a great place to live. I enjoy spending my spare time with friends and family, and finding all the exciting things that Central New York has to offer.

                                                                                             Connect with Jesse

                                                                                             Email: jcases@syrgov.net | Twitter: @Syracusing 




I came to Syracuse University in September 2005 to become the first community geographer here or elsewhere. In this avant-garde position, I am tasked with assisting community-based organizations in analyzing geographic research topics of their choosing. It is truly a labor of love. I meet new people passionate about their communities and contribute to exciting community initiatives almost daily.

I help to forge partnerships between traditionally trained academic scholars and local experts to tackle some of our most pressing community concerns. I am assisted by a dynamic team of bright and thoughtful undergraduate interns and graduate research assistants. 

Connect with Jonnell

Email: jdallen@maxwell.syr.edu



Stay connected with the team by following our blog posts, or contact us with any thoughts and ideas on how we can improve Syracuse.