About us

About us

The City's Innovation & Performance team was created in 2017, bringing together staff into a new unit focused on improving the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of City government.  We provide free, in-kind technical support to City departments in order that they might better achieve their service goals. We use data and design to support management and operational decision-making, and seek to deliver sustainable solutions that can be used independently by departments after the conclusion of our projects.

Vision

We envision a collaborative and innovative city government serving a community where everyone thrives.

Mission

We partner with city departments using data and design to creatively solve problems.

Tina Walha, Director

Tina Walha, Director

Tina serves as Director of Innovation & Performance, leading a talented and committed team of professionals that work closely with City departments to solve problems. Her past experience includes serving as a policy advisor to Mayor Mike Bloomberg in New York City and as a management consultant to government and nonprofit leaders at the city, county, state, Federal, and international levels to create actionable enterprise strategic plans and explore innovative financing mechanisms. She holds degrees in Economics and International Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Princeton University.

Adam Petkun

Adam Petkun

Adam has led the Innovation Team’s efforts to develop data-driven insights and recommendations related to our areas of focus since 2016. Before joining the i-team, Adam spent 4 years in the City's Department of Education and Early Learning, where he helped reform the department’s performance management systems and managed the Families and Education Levy investments in summer learning programs. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Oregon and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University.

Hillary Preston

Hillary Preston

Hillary is a Project Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, currently working on Performance Improvement projects with the City, and previously having supported What Works Cities projects and Pay for Success feasibility as a Fellow. Prior to joining the GPL, Hillary was in law school, during which she spent a summer as a clerk in the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and a summer in the Washington State Governor’s Office, working for the General Counsel. She holds a BA in Art History and East Asian Studies from Dartmouth College, and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Specialized Skills

  • Strategy analysis and formulation
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Pay for success

Specialized Skills

  • Strategy analysis and formulation
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Human-centered design

Specialized Skills

  • Results-driven contracting and procurement
  • Pay for success

Amie Thao



Amie Thao

Amie serves as Civic Designer for the City of Seattle. She works to bring design-based innovation expertise and creativity to the team's work. During her time at the City, she has worked across multiple social issues including racial equity, homelessness, and economic development. She has spent the last decade helping start-ups, public sector and non-profit clients use human-centered design to fulfill their missions and to create a more kind and equitable world. Amie holds a BFA. from ArtCenter College of Design. Prior to working in government, she spent 3.5 years cycling through 40 countries and listening to people's stories.

Leah Tivoli

Leah Tivoli

Leah Tivoli has over 10 years of experience inspiring people to use technology and data to improve service delivery, budget transparency, and policy development at City of Seattle. In 2016, Leah was recruited into the City Budget Office to build and manage a citywide performance program founded on municipal best practices and Seattle’s lessons learned, with a wide-range of partners such as What Work Cities, the Harvard Civic Analytics Network, and the Government Performance Lab.  Leah holds undergraduate degrees from McGill University in Environmental Science and Business Management and Master’s degrees in Public Health and Public Administration from the University of Washington. 

Richard Todd

Richard Todd

Richard joined the City having worked at the New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Performance and Accountability, where he worked to scale their maturing data analytics program. Previously, he worked as a consultant to local governments in Europe, bringing data to operational and policy decisions, and deploying innovative funding mechanisms for public services. Managing the health and human services team in this role, he led the design and implementation of the world’s first pay-for-success project for homelessness services. Prior to this, Richard worked in mergers & acquisitions for a major European investment bank and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford and a Master of Public affairs degree from Princeton University.

Specialized Skills

  • Design research and strategy
  • Digital product design (UI/UX)
  • Human-centered design
  • Workshop design and facilitation

Specialized Skills

  • Strategic planning
  • Facilitation
  • Change Management

Specialized Skills

  • Data science
  • Experimental testing and applied research techniques
  • Policy analysis

Mike Wypyszinski

Mike Wypyszinski

Mike has been with the City for over 16 years working in SDOT, Seattle IT and most recently working with Innovation and Performance. As a business intelligence developer, he has architected, designed, developed, and implemented data warehouses and data automation solutions for several City departments. Mike is a graduate of six University of Washington Extension Certificate programs that focused on multiple development disciplines, most recently in Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Development.

Paige St. George


Paige St. George

Paige went to Washington State University and has a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Human Development. She began her professional career in education and community mental health before transitioning to information technology as an ERP Business Process Analyst. After 12 years working from home and raising her family, Paige joined the i-team in 2015 to support them in all things administrative.

Specialized Skills

  • Bureaucratic wayfinding
  • Stakeholder management

Specialized Skills

  • Business intelligence
  • Data warehousing
  • Data automation

Photos by Seattle Headshot Pro

Innovation & Performance Interns

Peter Barrios

Peter Barrios

Peter Barrios is a recent graduate from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. During his internship this summer with the Innovation and Performance team, he will be supporting the team to provide support in developing frameworks to create baselines in government service delivery in order to find areas of improvement so that Seattle can better serve its constituents. His previous work includes mediation for community grievances and small claims court, connecting low-income families and individuals to government assistance, and managing operations at a commercial bank. He is born and raised in the Los Angeles area and finds value in improving the lives of other in his community.

Namrata Kolla

Namrata Kolla

Namrata Kolla is our Civic Analytics Intern and a current MPA Candidate at the University of Washington. She joined the City after doing contract work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through the Evans Policy Analysis & Research Group (EPAR). Nam curated data from the World Bank’s agricultural surveys for machine learning models and helped automate aspects of EPAR’s literature review and qualitative coding methods. Prior to EPAR, Nam did business development work at Coeio, print publishing at The Nature Conservancy, and ocean acidification modeling at the Georgia Institute of Technology—which is also where she received her Bachelor’s degrees in Earth Sciences and Public Policy.

Aki Younge

Aki Younge

Akina ‘Aki’ Younge is a Summer Fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab. With the Innovation and Performance Team this summer, she will be supporting the Mayor’s Office in growing an organizational structure that supports innovation, cross agency collaboration, and outcome accountability. Her previous work includes being a college admissions officer, a production assistant for a documentary film company, coordinating legislative advocacy campaigns in New York City, and training grassroots organizers how to use technology to strengthen their work. She is a Black and Japanese woman and is passionate about how cities can be champions for racial justice.