Stephen Goldsmith


Stephen Goldsmith is a professor of practice at the Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The former deputy mayor for operations for New York City, he previously served two terms as mayor of Indianapolis.

Goldsmith served as the chief domestic policy advisor to the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, as chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and, from 1979 to 1990, as the district attorney for Marion County, Ind.

His most recent book is A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance, which he co-authored with Neil Kleiman. He also is the author or co-author of The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance; The Power of Social Innovation; Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector; Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship; and The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America.

Any new federal infrastructure program should provide states and localities with the flexibility to tap the private-sector innovation and expertise that can produce new revenues, meaningful savings and operational efficiencies.
Social sentiment analysis is helping local officials understand the views and concerns of their residents about COVID-19 vaccinations, giving them information they need to shape effective messaging strategies.
It’s an opportunity, particularly for localities, to make long-term investments not only in infrastructure but also in the way they perform their work for the post-pandemic future.
Officials predict city budgets will be cut anywhere from 15 to 40 percent in the next year. The best way to do more with less is to use data as a tool to find out what works and where there’s opportunity to save.
It shouldn't be about Republicans favoring suburbs or Democrats favoring cities. Cities and their suburbs will succeed or fail together. We need reforms and dialogue that benefit both.
Jurisdictions across the country are facing a shortage of poll workers for the November election. Local government workers should be deployed to augment the volunteers who do show up.
The emergency has underlined outdated procedures and rules that hamper effective, efficient public purchasing. There are principles for creating better systems that can outlast the current crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing local governments to find new ways to cut costs. It's an opportunity to build effective financial practices into their cultures, not just for now but for the long term.
When the coronavirus pandemic begins to subside, communities should use a nuanced, calibrated approach to allowing businesses to reopen and residents to return to work and school.
Yesterday's reporting and compliance mechanisms aren't dynamic enough. Today's evolving transportation marketplace calls for nuanced, citizen-centric control driven by actionable real-time data.