Our Team

Meet the passionate and innovative minds behind Smart City Works

Debbie Hiscott

Executive Director

"I come to Smart City Works having spent the last decade building an education nonprofit centered on innovation and empowerment of public schools. I am set to lean into lessons learned through that work and build on the strong foundation Carola, our Board, and the Smart City Works team have put in place.

Central to my approach is leveraging the individual strengths of all of our partners and team members and engaging with those most impacted by our work. With many years of public service at the core of my previous work, including my current post as an elected official of the Falls Church City Council, as well as the broad experience I have gained through a career in business and economic development, I am confident of the vital role that Smart City Works plays in serving to lift up communities around the Greater Washington region, and energized to carry this charge forward. Drawing on the broad input, insights, and experience that each of you bring to this endeavor, I look forward to working together to continue to strengthen the organization, and to deliver on our critical mission of solving urban challenges and expanding our region’s economic growth through technological innovation."

Board Members

David Heyman


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.

Greg Sauter

Board Member

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 Halpert

Board Member

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.

Nicole Levine

Board Member

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.

Sol Glasner

Board Member

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 Khademian

Board Member

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 was inducted into MSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame for cross country and track.