Awards Analysts

ICF's Award program is based on rigorous analysis of information submitted by nominees for the Smart21 Communities and Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year.  The methodology has been developed over several years by ICF and its team of analysts.  We are pleased to acknowledge the participation of the following individuals and institutions as analysts.

Dr. Norman Jacknis
Senior Fellow, Intelligent Community Forum; Chair of the ICF Analysts
Dr. Norman Jacknis is Senior Fellow at the Intelligent Community Forum as well as a full-time faculty member of Columbia University, teaching executive graduate students about digital services and machine learning. Previously, starting in 2008, he was Director, Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group (the company’s open innovation and pro-bono strategic advisory group). At Cisco, he worked extensively and in-depth with states and local government, the National Association of Counties, the US Conference of Mayors and the staff responsible for the Federal government’s website and citizen engagement. Before joining Cisco, Jacknis served more than ten years as CIO and commissioner of Westchester County, NY government, where he was responsible for all of the government’s technology, analytics, Internet and broadband activities, as well as technology-based economic development. Under his leadership, Westchester County won numerous awards, including the Center for Digital Government’s top ten digital counties in the country, American City & County's Crown Communities Award for technology and was selected by the ICF as one of the global Top7 Intelligent Communities. Government Technology Magazine selected him as one of the nation’s "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers who, using technology … broke bureaucratic inertia to better serve the public."

Meghan Cook
University of Albany
meghan_2009long2.jpgAs Program Director for the Center for Technology in Government, Meghan Cook leads innovation initiatives that build capability in public sector organizations and agencies throughout the world. She is an expert in digital transformation and leads teams in addressing IT and information management issues through a unique and collaborative process. Examples include leading a New York State four-city team to receive funding from New York State’s Department of State to develop an information sharing resource for the purposes of fighting blight, developing CTG’s Open Government Portfolio Public Value Assessment Tool under a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and leading a World Bank team to launch the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Open Data Initiative and open government readiness assessment. In addition to her role as Program Director at CTG, Ms. Cook serves in many advisory roles including as a collaborator and academic advisor to the US Smart Cities Council, a founding member of the City Protocol Society, and an advisor to the NYS Local Government Information Technology Directors Association. Ms. Cook is a highly sought speaker and facilitator with more than 18 years of experience, having delivered over 100 thought-leadership and strategy development sessions for government leaders all over the world, including the International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government in Krems, Austria, the European Commission’s ePractice Series, Smart Cities Week in Washington DC, Port Alegre, Brazil’s Digital Democracy Summit, Moscow’s International Conference on Open Governmen); Mexico’s Annual Government Innovation Forum, and more.

Jacqueline DeGarmo
Hilliard Jeanne
Jacqueline DeGarmo is the President and Founder of Hilliard Jeane LLC, assisting designers, organizations and communities with creative direction, planning, and visioning for innovative projects and programming.  She is the creator and lead consultant of CODE:Stark, a community-wide tech hub project, and co-chaired The Forth Utility, a county-wide task team designing and promoting next-generation broadband access and speeds.  She has advised and keynoted for the International Conference of the Sichuan Association for Science and Technology in Chengdu, China, addressed the Intelligent City Community Forum in Taichung, Taiwan on the relationship between education and innovation, and headlined the Perkins + Will K-12 Center of Excellence Meeting in Washington, DC. Twice selected for the American Architectural Foundation National Summit on School Design, she is a regular consultant to school leaders and design professionals.  Ms. DeGarmo served as Project Director for the Global Learning Center at Walsh University, where she also designed and directed the international Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community in partnership with the ICF, and served on the strategic team for the Dublin Institute promoting “Intelligent Ohio.”  Her 31 years in education was highlighted by a total district re-invention she led as  superintendent.  Currently, she serves on the boards of the Aultman Health Foundation, Aultman Alliance Community Hospital, Walsh University, Kent State University at Stark, the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, and the Stark County Library Foundation.  Ms. DeGarmo has also been a decades long volunteer for the United Way of Greater Stark County, ArtsinStark, and many other community and philanthropic efforts. 

Roberto Gallardo
Purdue Center for Regional Development
Roberto Gallardo holds an electronics engineering undergraduate degree, a master's in economic development, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. Gallardo has worked with rural communities over the past decade conducting local and regional community economic development, including use of technology for development. He has authored more than 80 articles including peer-reviewed and news-related regarding rural trends, socioeconomic analysis, industrial clusters, the digital divide, and leveraging broadband applications for community economic development. He is also the author of the book “Responsive Countryside: The Digital Age & Rural Communities”, which highlights a 21st century community development model that helps rural communities transition to, plan for, and prosper in the digital age. Dr. Gallardo is a TEDx speaker and his work has been featured in a WIRED magazine article, a documentary, and a RFDTV documentary. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and two daughters.

Dr. Jay Gillette
Ball State University
Gillette_Jay-140.jpgDr. Jay Gillette is Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at Ball State University’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) in Indiana, USA. He is a Research Associate in its Applied Research Institute, and serves as Director of its Human Factors Institute. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Digital Policy Institute. He earned his graduate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, and undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Gillette is a member of the Pacific Telecommunications Council (, an international NGO for Pacific hemisphere telecommunications development. In 2005 he was elected to its international Advisory Council, and served a two-year term as Chairman. He is also a member of the North American Steering Committee of Global Forum, called “the Davos of IT,” where he has been both a presenter and appointed Session Moderator. He has covered the PTC Honolulu, Global Forum, and Intelligent Communities Forum conferences as a correspondent for Network World, the leading trade journal for enterprise networking. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Oxford. He also was Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Dr. Gillette served as a Senior Policy Fellow at the Docking Institute of Public Affairs in Kansas, and as a Senior Fellow of Information Technology and Telecommunications at the Center for the New West, in Colorado. He worked at Bellcore (Bell Communications Research, now Telcordia Technologies) as Program Manager in its Information Networking Institute and as Senior Technical Planner and Senior Project Manager in its Information Management Services division. He was a member of the industry team that helped develop Carnegie Mellon University’s graduate degree in Information Networking. 

Tim Holmes
The Shield Foundation
Born into a United Nations family, Tim Holmes was raised in New York, Africa and Japan.  Family tradition and lifetime studies have focused him on corporate and public organizations.  His career spans construction in Rockefeller Center, New York; commercial real estate development with a focus on historic restoration and community redevelopment; and international development projects.  He has served as COO of the Philatelic Foundation, administrator of the National Charities Information Bureau , Controller for The Hunger Project and president of The Shield Foundation, which works to facilitate industrial development, famine elimination and education in Africa. 

Anne Lawrence
Head of Industry Advancement, Moreton Bay Council, Queensland, Australia
Leading a diverse team delivering upon an ambitious economic development agenda for the third largest local government agency in Australia, Anne has had a career spanning a unique mix of private sector and senior government roles making her well-placed to lead policy changes, infrastructure projects and business programming initiatives that make a real difference in her community. Anne’s leadership guided the development and successful delivery of multiple high-impact programs, in partnership with a collaborative network of strategic partnerships.  An example of the impact Anne had in one of her roles was as the principal architect of the Sunshine Coast region’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, which achieved 65% growth over the four years of focus in that community. Currently servicing a community of approximately 30,000 businesses, Anne has nurtured and developed a grass-roots, community-based approach to create sustainable business communities (entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems) that drive collective economic prosperity.  

Catherine Maras
Partner, State and Local Government Practice, Fortium Partners
Catherine-Maras-140.jpgCatherine Maras is a partner in the Dallas practice of Fortium Partners. She has more than 30 years of technology leadership that spans both the public and private sectors, including service as CIO of Bexar County in Texas and Cook County in Illinois, and Managing Director for Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft. Maras brings award-winning technology experience to Fortium. She’s a Harvard Innovations Award Finalist, a 2016 CIO Magazine Analytics 50 Award winner and was named one of the top 100 worldwide CIOs in 2014 by Computerworld Magazine, among numerous other awards. Maras has a reputation as an integrator — someone who understands the relationships between departments and creates information systems that improve entire organizations.

Cynthia Richmond
Deputy Director, Arlington Economic Development, Arlington, Virginia, USA
CRichmond-140.jpgCindy has more than 30 years’ experience in local economic development, including business recruitment and retention, small business assistance, policy development, real estate development and economic sustainability. She has managed and performed community resource assessments, economic and fiscal impact analyses, and growth management studies across the country and has successfully led numerous high-profile strategic planning and economic development-related projects both for both private and public sector clients.  Prior to working in Arlington, she served as Deputy Director for Economic Development in Loudoun County, Virginia, and as a Regional Economist for Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. 

Dr. Kayla Schwoerer
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration & Policy, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
CRichmond-140.jpgKayla Schwoerer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY. Dr. Schwoerer’s research focuses broadly on public and nonprofit management, with a particular focus on issues related to technology and citizen-state interactions from a behavioral science perspective. Before joining UAlbany, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Current research projects include investigating individual-level perceptions of the use of algorithmic systems by government agencies and the impact of algorithmic transparency and explainability principles, citizens’ attribution of responsibility for algorithmic discrimination in the public sector, the impact of AI in public procurement, the affordances of open government data and usability, and the use of UX design principles for improving digital citizen-state interactions and reducing administrative burdens.