Jennifer Sanders is cofounder and executive director of the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA), a public-private partnership dedicated to supporting the design and execution of a smart cities plan for Dallas. She brings expertise across a broad array of industries including energy, technology, economic development, nonprofit and finance, serving in functions including communications, stakeholder and community relations, strategic counsel, change management and operations. DIA’s goal is to elevate Dallas as a city that is not only prepared for – but a driving force in shaping the future of cities, and providing opportunities for prosperity for its citizens. While at the DIA, she has collated a network of three dozen member organizations, and works with over 20 departments within the City of Dallas to accomplish an aligned smart city strategy, which began with the implementation of the Smart Cities Living Lab [phase I] in the West End District in downtown Dallas. This Living Lab incorporates nine smart city projects into a compressed corridor, and the resulting platform will pull in startups, entrepreneurs and university researchers to develop and test additional products and solutions. The Living Lab is the fastest-to-market smart cities initiative in the country. The DIA is now focused on its Phase II projects in southern Dallas focused on challenges to underserved residents around mobility, public safety and the digital divide.
She is actively involved with numerous civic organizations in Dallas, serving as past president of the Mayor’s Star Council, president of the Board of the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas, board member of Better Block, an ambassador for the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC) and the advisory board for Dallas-based retail and lifestyle startup, Edition Collective, among others. She has been named to the Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and Top Women in Technology, State Scoop’s Top Women in Technology, the Tech Week 100, and the Dallas 500. She has been honored to speak to groups at conferences around the globe including South by Southwest, Smart Cities Week and the Smart City Global Congress and Expo in Barcelona. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor concentration in economics.