Syracuse Surge: The path to becoming a smart city with SU alum Sam Edelstein

Join Sam Edelstein ’07 and G’15, Chief Data Officer for the City of Syracuse, Thursday, January 31, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Room 207 Hall of Languages, for an energizing conversation about current and future initiatives in the City of Syracuse aimed at making Syracuse a smarter city. He will also highlight opportunities for research collaborations, followed by informal conversation.  The event will be moderated by Jonnell A. Robinson, Associate Professor, Geography and Syracuse Community Geographer.

Sam Edelstein serves as the City of Syracuse’s first Chief Data Officer. During his time in the position, he has been responsible for the development and implementation of the City’s first Open Data Policy, Data Privacy Policy, and Open Data Portal – DataCuse. Additionally, he spearheaded the creation of a Performance Management Office and dashboard that measures the effectiveness of the City’s operations and creates transparency and accountability. Through efforts like these, and thanks to the leadership of Mayor Ben Walsh, the City of Syracuse uses data to inform decision making and engage the community – including predicting water main break risk, likelihood illegally parked cars will block snow plows and emergency vehicles, and several hackathons that aimed to resolve real challenges the City faced.

Prior to his work with the City of Syracuse, he was responsible for data analysis, communications, and marketing for the Office of Alumni Relations at Syracuse University. This included building processes for collecting and combining data, analyzing, and then making recommendations about effective ways to reach alumni and predicting registration and turnout at events.

Edelstein has also done marketing and communications work for Cultural Tourism DC, a non-profit in Washington, DC, where I ran social media accounts and published a weekly e-newsletter. He analyzed the data from all forms of communication to fine-tune messages and scheduling. He also worked for ICF International and consulted with federal government agencies, making recommendations about effective ways to train and manage employees.

He has a Masters Degree in Information Management from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and a Bachelors Degrees in Economics and Policy Studies from The Maxwell School at Syracuse University.