City of Rochester News Release - City Prepares for Expansion of Office of Innovation, Posts Job Opening for Director

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, January 21, 2014) -- The City of Rochester is hiring its first-ever Director of Innovation.

Seeking to build on Rochester’s tradition of leadership in technical and entrepreneurial innovation, the City of Rochester created the Office of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives in September 2014 and announced its expansion last month after the City was awarded a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The Director of Innovation will be responsible for carrying out the Office’s mission of researching and developing bold new solutions to issues facing Rochester.

“Rochester has always been an innovative city, and now, with the help of Bloomberg Philanthropies, our team will be able to come up with innovative solutions to Rochester’s most pressing social and economic challenges, to ensure that our residents have access to jobs, safe streets and a quality education,” said Mayor Lovely Warren.

In December, the City was selected to participate in the $45 million expansion of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program, designed to improve the capacity of city halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives – relying on data, open innovation and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges.

As a result, Rochester will receive up to $1.95 million over three years to create an innovation team, or “i-team,” within the Office of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives. In addition to the Director of Innovation, the grant will fund six additional office staff members, including a senior and junior analyst, an administrative assistant, an executive-in-residence and a faculty-in-residence. Those positions will be posted in the coming weeks.

The i-team will work closely with Bloomberg Philanthropies—who has access to the latest innovations and proven management practices in other cities. These teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one mayoral priority to the next. Rochester’s i-team will first and foremost be focused on reducing the poverty rate in a targeted area of the City by attracting jobs and improving public safety.

"Our ultimate goal is to help foster environments that will lead to safer neighborhoods and improved job opportunities for our citizens, along with better educational outcomes for our youth,” said Delmonize Smith, Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development. “We must examine different approaches to our critical issues if we desire significant change and growth. This office is tasked with doing just that.”

In November 2014, the City helped to designate a Downtown Innovation Zone ( to foster a “live-work-play” downtown business environment where new ideas, technologies and entrepreneurship are welcomed and explored.

For more information on the Office of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives, visit or contact Project Development Assistant Henry Fitts at

The successful applicant for Director of Innovation will have demonstrated experience developing innovative solutions to high-priority projects, leading large-scale transformations and managing high-performance teams dedicated to driving change through collaborative partnerships.

The deadline to submit applications is January 30, 2015. Applications can be obtained at City Hall, 30 Church St., Rochester, N.Y. 14614 or submitted online at

Candidates interested in the Junior Analyst Position are advised to apply for and take the ‘Management Trainee’ exam scheduled for January 28th at the below link. Passing the exam will qualify candidates for the selection pool.