A partial collection of the CaaSH planning team, photo credit Chris Kendig Photography
A partial collection of the CaaSH planning team, photo credit Chris Kendig Photography

It really can’t be understated how much passion goes into making Code for Philly run.

In the beginning it was just a couple of brigade captains. The first leadership team in 2015 included an executive director and 4 loosely-defined roles. Now, with 2017 around the corner, we’re welcoming a new leadership team to steer the ship towards a stable, diverse, impactful community.

Our new leadership team will nurture the community and improve the volunteer experience at Code for Philly. This new capacity will also allow senior leadership to continue exploring organizational structures that bring sustainability to our mission.

Ben Novack giving civic hacking 101 at hack night circa 2015, photo credit Lloyd Emelle
Ben Novack giving civic hacking 101 at hack night circa 2015, photo credit Lloyd Emelle

What the leadership team will do

There are two defining pieces to Code for Philly: projects and members.

These pillars will act as the guiding light for the leadership team throughout 2017 as they plan events, programs, and generally nurture the Code for Philly community.


Members are a critical component of our community’s success. It’s our members who build and lead projects that ultimately drive impact. Members may be experienced professionals looking to make a difference while sharpening their skills. They may be emerging/transitioning professionals just entering the tech sector. They may be subject-matter experts providing critical insight about the problem area. Regardless of how a member contributes, they’re helping to shape and rebuild the civic infrastructure in Philadelphia.


The foundation of Code for Philly and how it works is projects. Code for Philly projects are civic and open source, and generally member-driven. We’ve had some great success over the last four years with project launches and adoption—like GreenSTEM, CyclePhilly, Philly Ward Leader Baseball Cards, WhoWonPhilly, YadaGuru, and Not in Philly to name a few. Our goal now is to have more mission-driven projects by creating better conditions and support mechanisms for project/team success.

Map of CyclePhilly rider trip data
Map of CyclePhilly rider trip data

What this means for the previous leadership team

The first leadership team in 2015 was very much an experiment. Some people came and went, and we thank them for that time (looking at you Corey Acri and Corey Abrams!).

Others have continued to stick like Ben Novack, who not only continues to help with a lot of the logistics that keep hack night going, but also contributes a key voice in defining the spirit of Code for Philly.

For those of us who stuck around, here’s what this change in leadership means.

Ben Novack, previously Projects Lead

Ben has played an important role in shaping the vision and direction of Code for Philly. Though moving on from Projects Lead, Ben will continue to support the development of projects and matching incoming volunteers to projects under direction of the incoming Projects Lead.

Dawn McDougall, previously (and currently) Executive Director

Don’t let the title fool you, many of the decisions of Code for Philly’s direction lay with the leadership team as representatives of the community. The leadership team will report to the executive director, who will in turn support the team with guidance and direction. As ED, Dawn will continue to focus on sustainability of the community.

Chris Alfano, previously Brigade Captain

One of the original founders of the group and nationally recognized leader in civic tech, Chris continues to pitch in where he can and spend the majority of his time advising the group. His priorities will focus on supporting the ED in bringing sustainability to Code for Philly. Now on our second iteration of the leadership team, we’re retiring the concept of a brigade captain.

When can we meet the new leadership team?

Join our virtual town hall tonight! We’ll give the new leadership team a chance to introduce themselves.

Keep reading to meet the leadership team and learn how to connect.

Community Lead

Jacqueline Siotto

Slack | Email

After a recent move to Philadelphia Jacqui was lucky enough to stumble upon the Code for Philly community and enter the amazing world of civic hacking. This community and the act of civic hacking enable her to never stop learning new things, to continually meet interesting people, and to take part in helping to create a better city.

As Code for Philly’s Community Lead Jacqueline hopes to grow and strengthen membership, help make civic hacking a new norm in civic participation and a well-used, meaningful way for anyone to help shape the future of their city or community.

She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their two cats. She enjoys riding her bike, climbing mountains, and winning—or trying to—a competitive board game match (much to her husband’s pride and chagrin).

Projects Lead

Rich McMillen

Slack | LinkedIn | Twitter | Email

Rich has been a member of Code for Philly since 2013. He was attracted by the opportunity of helping all levels of government as well as socially-driven organizations execute on their respective missions.

By day, Rich works for JPMorgan Chase building digital and mobile tools for small businesses. Originally from Pittsburgh, for the past five years Rich has resided in Delaware County. Soon though, he’s very excited to move back into the city of brotherly love. As Projects Lead, he hopes to support Code for Philly projects drive civic impact and engagement.

Communications Lead

Pat Woods

Slack | LinkedIn | Twitter | Email

Pat works in academic publishing, assisting editors with peer review for their journals. His real passion lies in helping out in the community. His previous career was being an art teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. He volunteers for Neighborhood Bike Works and with Code for Philly. He’s new the to tech scene, but loves what Civic Tech has to offer as a means of thinking globally, but acting locally.

As Communications Lead, he’s looking to highlight the great work already being done and to let more people know how to help out, and not just coders.