James Anderson is the director of government innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies, where he oversees a group of programs dedicated to helping city leaders around the world develop and share forward-looking solutions to pressing problems. “Cities should not have to reinvent the wheel time and time again,” Anderson told Fast Company. “I am obsessed with the notion that [cities and mayors] can serve as distribution networks for ideas that work.” Among Anderson’s projects are the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, a tuition-free training course for city executives, and the Mayors Challenge, a yearly competition that awards grants and mentorship to cities proposing groundbreaking, executable ideas.
Before launching the government innovation team in 2010, Anderson was the communications director for Michael Bloomberg, then mayor of New York City. Prior to joining the Bloomberg administration, he served as senior advisor to the commissioner of New York City's homeless services agency, and as communications director for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a nonprofit that champions the rights of LGBTQ students nationwide. Read our June 2017 feature about James Anderson.