Meet the passionate and innovative minds behind Smart City Works
Carola is the Executive Director of Smart City Works and Project Director for the Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative. She a highly effective leader with a strong ability to translate vision and strategy into execution. She has cemented her experience in nonprofit management including establishing strategic partnerships, administration of staff and programs, financial systems, operations, and business development.
Carola has more than 18 years of experience managing development grants/contracts funded by multiple donors including US Government, corporations, foundations, foreign governments, and high net worth donors. She has extensive experience administering management programs that develop the capacity of civil society organizations in complex domestic and international environments.
Thought leader, strategist, software engineer, and recognized expert in national security and international affairs with two decades of executive experience in government, and 15 years in the private sector. David has served in senior positions at the White House, US Department of Energy, and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and founded two ventures in the private sector. Most recently, he was Assistant Secretary for Policy at DHS, where he designed and led global efforts and Presidential initiatives in counterterrorism, cybersecurity, building community resilience, and critical-infrastructure protection. David will lead the Regional Innovation Leadership Council, the Business Acceleration Program, and the Living Labs Program.
WGI is a national design and professional services firm leading in technology-based solutions for the construction of public infrastructure and real estate development.
WGI President Gregory Sauter, since beginning his tenure with the firm in 2018, has focused on advancing our commitment to innovation and digitization, expanding our markets, and driving sustainable growth. An advocate for those WGI associates with powerful ideas on how best to help meet the needs of 21st-century communities and their growing populations.
Gregory is the creator of WGI Ventures, the firm’s venture arm focusing on technology investments, acquisitions, and partnerships that enhance our collective digitization strategy and help the core business be future-ready. Gregory is the founder of Smart City Works, the world’s first infrastructure actuator. The organization focuses on accelerating infrastructure innovation and commercialization, bringing to life promising business ideas and helping companies catalyze and rethink civil infrastructure innovation. Gregory has over 30 years in the engineering and construction industry; prior to founding Smart City Works, he enjoyed a 15-year career with a Fortune 200 global AEC firm as its executive vice president and chief corporate officer.
He is past president and board chairman of Engineers Without Borders-USA, a global humanitarian nonprofit of 17,000 members, delivering 600+ global development projects in 40 countries while providing transformational life experiences to students and professionals. Gregory is a Professional Engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, a Master of Science degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Rutgers University.
Avi oversees the global Corporate Real Estate Department for United Therapeutics. He directed the development of Unither’s downtown headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The multi-block campus includes several LEED Gold projects, including the adaptive upgrades and expansions of facilities to meet corporate energy goals. Unither’s new net-zero facility called the Unisphere, was constructed under the direction of Avi’s team. This building features computational labs, offices and a new plaza for community use. On Unither’s North Carolina campus, Avi and his team are responsible for an extensive solar array, property acquisitions, site development and adaptive uses of an existing historical buildings.
Jane A. Chmielinksi is retired COO and president, Americas, of AECOM Technology Corporation. She is credited, among many accomplishments, with the launch of the company brand, its safety program, and its global performance-management system.
She is a graduate of UMass Boston. Jane previously was president of DMJM Harris, which was acquired by AECOM in 2008. She transitioned from Harris to serve as AECOM group chief executive, corporate development, and was responsible for communications, human resources, IT, and several other activities.
She is personally involved in a number of professional associations, including the American Public Transportation Association and the Women’s Transportation Seminar. Jane serves on the board of directors of the March of Dimes, the New York chapter of the Women’s Forum, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. She received the ACE Mentor Program Legacy Award, the Women’s Development Forum Vision and Leadership Award, and the March of Dimes Service Humanity Award.
Jane has been married to Paul for 33 years, and they enjoy traveling, sailing, paddle boarding, and visiting Jane’s family near Boston.
Nicole has 20+ years of experience working with nonprofits to address some of society’s most intractable problems. Specializing in the early stage of the business lifecycle, She excels at identifying and operationalizing viable business models to grow and sustain impact. Nicole has held senior positions responsible for strategy, operations, business development, and communications, and has a track record of successfully transitioning organizations from start-up to growth mode.
A nonprofit executive experienced in all facets of organizational leadership and governance, she has worked on a wide range of domestic and international development issues including anti-human trafficking, Indigenous Peoples’ land rights, technology for public benefit, human rights, and strengthening US democracy.
For over two decades, Sol served as a corporate general counsel with a successful track record leading corporate and board governance, compliance and strategic business planning. Most recently, served as the executive leader of a dynamic stakeholder association working to transform Tysons, Virginia into a vibrant urban community. Mediates a wide range of commercial and business transactional disputes, emphasizing contracts, real estate, employment/workplace, and intellectual property.
Anne is the Executive Director of the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in the University System of Maryland: 9 universities, one campus! Building on experience as a Presidential Fellow at Virginia Tech to foster partnerships and a space for collaboration with our academic partners in the USM, community colleges and K-12, business, nonprofits, and government to give students an outstanding education and pathways to great careers.
A former School Director, Faculty Leader, and author with over 20 years of success within the higher education space, at my best serving as a change agent to drive organizational innovation and growth. Anne has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and an MPA and BA in Political Science from Michigan State University. She is also a Fellow and member of the Board of Directors with the National Academy of Public Administration and was inducted into MSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame for cross country and track.