Gainesville City Manager Selects Director for New Department of Measuring


Gainesville City Manager Anthony Lyons is pleased to announce the selection of Ellen Chen to lead the City of Gainesville’s newest agency as the Department of Measuring Director. Beginning Monday, Aug. 22, Chen will work closely with City Manager Lyons and others to determine, develop and assess internal and external performance indicators, as well as progress benchmarks related to achieving inclusive, community-focused urban governance strategies.

“In a relatively brief professional career, Ms. Chen has developed an impressive international professional services and research background,” said Gainesville City Manager Lyons. “Ellen possesses unique expertise in measurement methodologies which encompass a broad range of social equity initiatives and collaborative SmartCities projects. I expect that expertise will be put to good use as we seek to turn city data sets into citizen-centered actions.”

As Director of Measuring, Chen will play a pivotal role in leading research efforts to understand and identify issues and disparities in city service delivery and access, especially among traditionally disenfranchised populations. She is expected to gather and analyze citizen input in collaboration with community stakeholders, city departments and potential private sector and academic partners to drive new citywide economic development initiatives which will position Gainesville as a prime location for business and investment. Additionally, Chen will help develop concepts that leverage city technology and infrastructure resources, such as a contemporary form of the community “welcome wagon” that will offer full integration with city services as Gainesville continues its transition to become a citizen-centered government.

Chen’s professional experience and academic background has well prepared her for the challenge ahead. She gained significant operational management skills while working with international firm McKinsey & Company in Shanghai to launch the Urban China Initiative and to conduct research on strategic urban growth. Chen also worked for the World Bank helping officials in New Delhi and Lucknow, India to address technical assistance issues in local housing markets. In Malaysia, she helped build strategic relationships with gender and development experts for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sustainable Cities Practicum, a multi-year collaboration between MIT and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Chen is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies and a minor in public policy, and holds a master’s degree in city planning, with emphasis in housing community and economic development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.