NYU’s Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP) today announced the appointment of Michael Flowers, who served as New York City’s first Chief Analytics Officer, as its inaugural Urban Science Fellow.

With a depth of experience in federal and municipal government, Flowers will work closely with CUSP’s faculty, staff, and partners to identify approaches to advance the use of data analytics in municipal operations and urban policymaking.  A recognized leader in promoting the use of civic data, Flowers will serve as a key participant in CUSP projects that will help define the emerging field of urban informatics around the world.

Specifically, he will serve as a mentor and project advisor to CUSP’s M.S. students as they undertake practical data analysis of constraints on city operations and development, which include political, policy, and financial considerations.

Appointed by former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Flowers served as the city’s first Chief Analytics Officer and established the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA).  MODA’s work allowed the City of New York to better utilize its data to improve its infrastructure, emergency response, human services, and revenue collection.  As Chief Analytics Officer, Flowers implemented NYC DataBridge, an analytics platform integrating data spanning numerous city agencies for secure, on-demand access by city analysts.

Mike brings to CUSP an outstanding record of achievement within the New York City government,” said Steve Koonin, CUSP’s Director.  “His innovative efforts have greatly aided the city to better utilize its vast amounts of data and respond to the needs of New York City’s residents.  Mike brings an invaluable, practical perspective on urban informatics and we are delighted to be working with him.”

Prior to joining the Bloomberg Administration, Mr. Flowers was Counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for the 110th and 111th Congress, where he led bipartisan investigations into off-shore tax haven abuses, failures in the mortgage-backed securitization market by U.S. investment and commercial banks and government agencies, and deceptive financial transactions by the North Korean government. From March 2005 to December 2006, Mr. Flowers was Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Regime Crimes Liaison’s Office in Baghdad, Iraq, supporting the investigations and trials of Saddam Hussein and other high-ranking members of his regime. Flowers’ numerous awards and honors include the New York City Government Award for Management Innovation and IT Collaboration (2013), the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy Award (2013), and the White House Champion for Change Award (2012).  He earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Tulane University and holds a law degree from Temple University.

“I am truly excited to bring my experience in city government and data analytics to bear as CUSP moves forward,” said Michael Flowers.  “Working closely with its government, academic, and corporate partners, CUSP’s research offers tremendous promise to cities like New York as they evaluate the best ways to utilize vast amounts of data for the public good.”

Established through generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, CUSP’s Urban Science Fellowship will enable leading practitioners to apply their expertise to the study of urban informatics and accelerate the rate at which knowledge and best practices can be shared with leaders in other cities. 

About New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress

CUSP is a university-wide center whose research and education programs are focused on urban informatics. Using NYC as its lab, and building from its home in the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, it integrates and applies NYU strengths in the natural, data, and social sciences to understand and improve cities throughout the world. CUSP offers a one-year MS degree in Applied Urban Science & Informatics. For more news and information on CUSP, please visit https://cusp.nyu.edu. Follow NYU CUSP on Twitter @NYU_CUSP.


Kim Alfred, CUSP


Elizabeth Latino, The Marino Organization