Our Team

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Susan Farmer

Programs Coordinator

Susan has worked in academia, government, and the nonprofit sectors for many years.  She believes that education and equality are important factors for a more just society and to our future. She has volunteered in her community to increase voter registration, worked with immigrants to help them receive their citizenship, and participated in environmental clean-ups of rivers and nature preserves. She lives in Crozet and enjoys hiking and kayaking with her dog in her spare time.

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Abigail Cox

Program Associate

Abigail Cox is a Charlottesville resident and reference librarian at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, where she provides reference services and technology training. She develops and facilitates free programs that are open to all members of the community in order to promote lifelong learning and reading. Her work has a strong focus on increasing access and on promoting digital equity and inclusion.

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Christie Taylor

Executive Director

Christie Taylor has served nonprofits working to reform communities to be more inclusive, equitable, and resilient. She enjoys the collaborative and creative nature of grassroots work, and practices relational-based approaches to resolving challenges. She has served her community as a volunteer Mental Health First Aid responder, foster parent, and roles for school board committees. She lives in Crozet with her four children, and competes in long distance running.

Julia Eskew

Julia Eskew

Program Assistant

ulia is a 4th year Global Studies major at UVA with a specific focus in public health and healthcare policy. Maternal mortality both in the United States and across the globe is her area of interest, and she is excited to hone her skills concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion through the Center for Civic Innovation. She has been so impressed with the CCI and how it implements innovative solutions in addition to producing informed community leaders. This partnership engages and informs her about how local issues can mirror power structures and tensions across the globe.

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Rick Hinton

Board Chair

Rick Hinton is a technology entrepreneur and consultant working with analytics-focused startups and mature firms. His experience includes a healthcare workforce analytics start-up, a venture-backed firm focused on online investment and financial planning, an online political prediction market startup, and a leading Microsoft partner focused on cloud-based productivity solutions. He’s passionate about how design, data, and analytics can help solve some of our toughest societal challenges. Rick received an MBA from George Washington University and a BA in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland. He serves as a member of the leadership council for the Virginia Center for Health Innovation. A DC transplant, he lives in Charlottesville with his wife and dog and, on occasion, can be found running the hilly streets in town.

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Seth Ragosta

Board Vice Chair

Seth Ragosta is a litigation attorney who focuses on Family Law and Commercial litigation matters at Lenhart Pettit in Charlottesville. Before returning to Charlottesville, Seth worked for a multinational law firm on matters involving the largest technology companies in the world. Seth has experience with the practical uses of technology in the legal field, as well as the rules and laws governing various aspects of technology in commercial, personal and public realms. Seth is a county resident and passionate advocate for rational, open discourse about social justice and public policy issues, and believes technology can serve a key role in driving positive, fair and clear discussions about our public future.

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Jim Duncan

Board Secretary

Jim Duncan is Partner & Founder at Nest Realty Group whose main office is located in Downtown Charlottesville. Jim has always been active in the community as evidenced by his authorship of two prominent local blogs (Real Central VA and Real Crozet VA). He has a deep interest in working to instill a sense of community and engagement of and by the citizenry. A county resident, Jim is a 1998 graduate of VMI and is passionate about representing his real estate clients, the environment, riding bicycles, coaching soccer, and being a dad.

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Alpha Diallo

Board Member

Alpha Diallo is from Guinea, West Africa. Although he has spent the majority of his life in Virginia, Alpha’s passion in community innovation and development stem from his experiences living in Guinea. Since obtaining his Masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Virginia, Alpha has had a keen interest in the intersection of data science and public good. Currently, he is a full-time Senior Data Analyst with Magellan Health, a managed health care company, and a Masters candidate in Computational Data Analytics. He also served as the first Smart Cville Program Director.

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Aleena Haidari

Board Member

Aleena Haidari is a third-year student at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Global Development Studies with a concentration in Middle East and South Asia and minor in History. Her passion lies in working with non-profit and humanitarian organizations that advocate for equality and systemic changes globally. She has extensive experience in working as an analyst, researcher, writer, and interpreter for the Afghan community in Charlottesville. She is fluent in Persian/ Dari and is hoping to continue learning Spanish and Urdu. She was a part of the inaugural Center for Civic Innovation Fellowship.

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Dr. Devin Harris

Board Member

Dr. Devin Harris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment at UVA. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida and his graduate degrees at Virginia Tech, both in Civil Engineering (Structural). Devin is the Director of the Center for Transportation Studies, which is the focal point for education, research, and service in transportation engineering at UVA. CTS provides both research support services as well as transportation-focused education and training activities throughout the Commonwealth. His research centers on the built environment and aims to leverage data to create information, which can be used to inform decision-making. In his free time, Devin enjoys snowboarding, wakeboarding, boating, and spending time with family. Devin lives in Crozet with his wife and daughter.

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Amanda Poncy

Board Member

Amanda Poncy is the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Charlottesville, VA, where she continues to pursue her interests in creating vibrant and healthy communities through sustainable transportation planning and community design. Amanda lives in the City with her family and spends her free time exploring local trails and helping with the Clark Elementary School PTO.

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Sarah Burke

Board Member

Sarah Burke owns and operates a mitigation and criminal defense investigation firm in Charlottesville, VA, specializing in capital murder cases. She works on federal and state cases throughout the country. Sarah works with defense attorneys in cases involving the death penalty to uncover and weave together evidence into a narrative that fully humanizes the defendant in a way that is often absent from the courtroom. Sarah is from Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia. She was recently a volunteer appointee for Charlottesville’s Initial Police Civilian Review Board. The CRB was tasked with creating a model for civilian oversight of the Charlottesville Police Department. She values listening, justice, critical thinking and questioning of systems, working toward racial and social equity, putting ideas into action, and the power of community and relationships.

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Lucas Ames

Founder, Ex-Officio Board Member

Lucas Ames is the Founder of Smart Cville and Associate Director of Organizational Systems and Technology at Global Online Academy (GOA). At GOA he is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s use of technology represents best practices in online teaching and learning and aligns with its mission and values. Leveraging data to obtain the best learning outcomes for students and utilizing APIs to extend online learning platforms are key parts of his role. Lucas strongly believes that technology has democratized civic engagement in a way that allows all citizens to help solve public problems. Lucas lives in the City with his wife, daughter, and son.