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.
Lorena is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs with a concentration in Public Policy. Along with a previous leadership role in a university chartered organization and her volunteer work with a local government election this past year, Lorena has become a collaborative leader and a devoted team player in her work place endeavors. Lorena is excited to intern with Smart City Works to gain experience, exposure, and knowledge on sustainable and resilient cities and integrating the topics with her interests in environmental justice, public health, and education.
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.
Ric Fleisher has more than 30 years of experience in business development, sales and technology. He has been involved with 9 start-ups. These ventures have included real estate, two sided marketplaces, mobile, location based services, ID verification, networking hardware, speech, streaming video, collaboration, intelligent agents and RFID. He has helped build early stage technology companies in Software, Hardware and Service areas. His current start-up is Manor Financial. Manor helps consumers understand, maintain and grow the value of their home. Prior to Manor, he was the co-founder of Urgent.ly. Urgent.ly is the global digital roadside assistance platform. Originally created as a platform for all urgent needs including those for homes.
Passionate and seasoned entrepreneur and attorney with multi-decade experience in developing creative and innovative strategies to obtain value from emerging market opportunities. Bob was instrumental in the conception and founding of iBiquity Digital (terrestrial digital radio), iXnet (Global VPN), Ondas Media (European satellite radio), Assure Space, LLC (insurance underwriter), and most recently Apio Systems, Inc. (telematics). Bob was an Equity Partner at the international law firm of Vinson and Elkins. At the law firm, he established and grew the Telecommunications Practice and represented numerous clients developing and implementing innovative telecommunications technologies. Bob will be an Accelerator Lead Mentor and responsible for grant management and fundraising for the Initiative. He will also support ecosystem partnership development.
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.