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Tandon’s GovLab Continues to Make Practical Contributions to Global Governance

GovLab Senior Fellow Dinorah Cantú-Pedraza receives appointment

GovLab Senior Fellow Dinorah Cantú-Pedraza (second row, right) becomes San Pedro Garza García's new Secretary of Innovation and Participation

This summer, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appointed Tandon Professor and GovLab Co-founder and Director Beth Simone Noveck as the state’s first-ever chief innovation officer, a post she is undertaking in addition to her Tandon and GovLab responsibilities. In the wake of that exciting news, another member of the GovLab community was named to a prominent public-service post, this time in Mexico.

This October, Miguel B. Treviño, the mayor-elect of San Pedro Garza García, a bustling metropolitan area in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, announced the appointment of GovLab Senior Fellow Dinorah Cantú-Pedraza as the municipality’s new Secretary of Innovation and Participation.

Cantú-Pedraza had previously led the GovLab’s City Challenges initiative, which combines coaching and citizen engagement to address pressing urban issues and which had been pioneered right in San Pedro. The San Pedro City Challenges, also known as the DesafíoSP project, yielded multiple important outcomes, including the digitization of government services, an online voting space for participatory budgeting, and the launch of a pilot mobility program. San Pedro has legislated the City Challenges method into law as part of a new Citizen Participation bill, making the model a new paradigm for solving problems in the municipality.

“I am fully convinced that people are government’s biggest asset – if only we knew how to unlock all of their potential,” Cantú-Pedraza remarked. “I also believe democracy is in crisis, and we need to seriously experiment with new models that allow us to come together, and work together, to solve the problems we are facing and improve everyone’s quality of life.”

In her new role, Cantú-Pedraza will supervise the Citizen Engagement and Citizen Services division as well as the Innovation Department. She continues her affiliation with the GovLab as a non-resident Fellow.