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Mayor Durkan Announces New Innovation Advisory Council to Address City’s Most Urgent Challenges

IAC will harness the power of technology to create innovative strategies and solutions for issues including homelessness and transportation mobility

Seattle (August 2) – At Zillow Group in Seattle, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed an Executive Order to launch the City’s first ever Innovation Advisory Council. With initial commitments by Amazon, Artefact Group, Expedia Group, Flying Fish, Microsoft, Tableau, Technology Access Foundation, Washington Technology Industry Association and Zillow Group, Mayor Durkan will bring together some of the region’s most innovative companies and organizations to address the City’s most urgent challenges. Through this Executive Order, Mayor Durkan is establishing the Innovation Advisory Council, a new collaboration with Seattle’s technology community that will better highlight technology solutions to help with our homelessness and affordability crisis.

“Seattle is a city that has always invented the future. Working together, we have to seize the opportunity to address our shared challenges in new and innovative ways. Seattle and the surrounding Puget Sound region have the most innovative companies, right here in our own backyard. Bringing them together to address our pressing affordability crises will help us find and implement long-lasting, positive change that will help to improve our City,” said Mayor Durkan.

The Innovation Advisory Council will act as an advisor on issues and policies affecting the City, where data and technology solutions could be of benefit. Specifically, the IAC will focus on issue identification, policy recommendations, and project implementation of technology solutions including new data analytics, dashboards, applications, and software for the City. Members and their businesses will commit to helping deliver these technology solutions.

Mayor Durkan announced that Co-Chairs will include:

  • Aman Bhutani, President for Brand Expedia Group
  • Andrew Beers, Chief Technology Officer for Tableau
  • Trish Millines Dziko, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Technology Access Foundation
  • Tonya Peck, Senior VP and General Manager for Artefact Group

The IAC shall be comprised of community members and businesses from across the city with an expertise in technology solutions, transportation and mobility, logistics, project management, engineering, data analytics, and/or software development. The IAC will also prioritize participation by under-represented businesses and community members including women, immigrants, refugees, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.

More than 60,000 software developers call the Puget Sound region home, making it the most common job in Seattle. The nation’s top companies have recognized this as an opportunity to hire some of the best technology talent in the world and more than 100 out-of-town companies have opened engineering centers in the Seattle area.

Any companies interested in participating should contact Kate Garman at