Jeff Merritt (Director of Innovation) prides himself on holding jobs that his family has trouble explaining. He began his career in war-torn former Yugoslavia, helping support local democracy-building. After living in New York during 9/11, he decided to refocus his efforts at home, leading a good government organization called the Center for Civic Responsibility then founding Grassroots Initiative, the nation's first nonprofit election consulting firm. Jeff made his first foray into city government in 2009 when he helped organize the first online public elections in U.S. history in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. The following year, he became an advisor to then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and, as they say, the rest is history.