David Gogol of FaegreBD Consulting is serving as a reviewer for the nation's preeminent program devoted to recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector.
The Innovation in American Government Awards by the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation highlight exemplary models of government innovation. They serve as a catalyst for bringing creative and effective solutions to some of government's most urgent challenges.
The Ash Center announced the 25 top programs of 2013 in March. Gogol and other reviewers are now researching, visiting and assessing those programs in order to select Innovation Award finalists, who will each receive a $10,000 grant. Finalists will present their innovations before the Innovations National Selection Committee, who will name the winner of a $100,000 grant.
Gogol was assigned to review the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. NRI intervenes to address persistent crime, failing schools, crumbling housing and health disparities, tackling the interconnected causes of neighborhood distress in order to revitalize the areas.
Gogol and colleague Beena Patel participated in a site visit in San Antonio, one of NRI's top achieving project sites. The visit included a meeting with Mayor Julian Castro; a tour of the area; and interviews with the San Antonio Housing Authority, police leadership and other city officials.
Winners of the 2013 Innovation Awards will be announced in the fall of 2013.