Meet Andreas Addison
Andreas was born in Alexandria, Virginia, to a single mother. When he was four, his mother remarried, and they moved to Shenandoah County, Virginia. He grew up on a farm and learned hard work by waking up early every morning to take care of the farm’s sheep, chickens, rabbits, horses, dogs, and cats. He attended public schools throughout his K-12 education and knows how important good schools are to students, parents, and communities. Andreas attended college at Virginia Tech, graduating with a Political Science degree in 2004. After college, he moved to Richmond in search of opportunity and was employed at Wachovia and later Circuit City before beginning his career in public service at City Hall. The city hired him as a Management Analyst to support the city’s performance management program.
Andreas has used his business background, public sector experience, and University of Richmond MBA degree (‘12), to innovate City Hall’s operations. Mayor Jones’s administration promoted him to lead special projects to modernize city operations. Andreas then created the role of Civic Innovator at City Hall, where he executed many important projects that included the creation of the 311 Call Center and the implementation of SeeClickFix.
As City Hall’s Civic Innovator, Andreas brought best practices and new ways of thinking to the operations of City Hall. Andreas focused on improving public engagement, enhancing government accountability, collaboration, and transparency. Here are some of his accomplishments while working at City Hall:
- IBM Smarter Cities Challenge – In 2013, Andreas successfully led the awarded application for Richmond to be an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge partner, one of 100 cities chosen from around the world to work with IBM to develop recommendations to attract private economic development in our low-income communities while not displacing current residents.
- Open Data Portal – Andreas successfully improved City Hall’s transparency before running for council. He led the creation of Richmond’s Open Data Portal, an easy-to-use web page containing current data on a multitude of city operations that earned the city government a Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium award.
- Code for America – Andreas led the prestigious Code for America partnership in coordination with the Richmond City Health District, Bon Secours, and VCU Health Systems to improve low-income residents’ access to healthcare. The result of this yearlong project highlighted the need to streamline the application process for eligibility screening for medical and healthcare services in combination with social services.
- Next Door – Andreas also brought the NextDoor platform to Richmond in coordination with the Richmond Police Department to support community policing and public engagement.
- Office of Community Wealth Building – Andreas was integral in the creation of the Office of Community Wealth Building, which brings together city resources, non-profits, and businesses to help Richmonders lift themselves out of poverty.
Even before he began serving on City Council, Andreas had already made Richmond’s government more transparent, effective, and accountable.
Embracing the call to continue serving Richmond, Andreas left City Hall in 2016 to run for City Council. Because serving on City Council is part-time, Andreas started his own consulting business so he could continue innovating government.
He has advised international non-profits and the city governments of Boston, Athens, Greece, and Warsaw, Poland, and the E.U. on best practices for policies and operations by bringing together diverse groups of people to find equitable and inclusive solutions. Many of his recommendations are embedded in their operations today. He has brought his expertise to Fortune 500 companies and start-ups and utilizes his design thinking and human-centered design approach to improve processes and strategy.
Andreas facilitates diversity and inclusion in the workplace training for business clients as well. He also developed the after school program “Life Is A Journey” to help Richmond area high school students improve their professional skills like persuasive writing, public speaking, resume building, and creative thinking. He has an advanced design thinking certification from IDEO.
Andreas frequently speaks at conferences about his experience, philosophy, and approach to driving change in government. He spoke at the German Marshall Fund’s BUILD Urban Innovation conference in Spain, the Next Generation of Government Summit in Washington, D.C., SXSW, OpenGov conference, the Sorensen Political Leadership Institute, and many others.
From his extensive experience in government, politics, and entrepreneurship, Andreas was invited to be an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia. He taught “Introduction to Social Enterprise” to more than 100 students at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy in the McIntyre School of Commerce in spring 2020. Andreas created the curriculum on a foundation of design thinking and empathy-building to apply business models to solve social challenges.
Outside of City Council and Civic Innovator, Andreas is highly engaged in the Richmond community. Andreas plays acoustic guitar with the worship team of Chapel RVA that now meets in Scott’s Addition. He helped found the Code for RVA Brigade, a volunteer cadre of local coders and hackers who desire to improve our community. He is a board member for CodeVirginia bringing computer science learning as a requirement for public school graduation. In addition, he is the Civic Engagement Chair of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s HYPE Leadership Team, and he is on the Richmond Ballet of Virginia Advisory Council. He joined the Sisters Cities Commission, the Community Policy Management Team, RRPDC Transportation Planning Organization, and Virginia First Cities groups in 2017. In 2018, he joined the Sportsbackers board and the YMCA Downtown Board. Andreas is proud to be active in these organizations today. Because of his service to Richmond, Andreas was named a “Top 40 under 40” by Style Weekly in 2017.
“Andreas has been a pinnacle of the civic technology community since its inception. When there were only five local government officials in the country showing up to events centered on transparency, access and engagement Andreas was one of them. He has stayed committed to this effort for the six years I have known him. RVA did a wonderful job raising such an outstanding community leader.”
– Ben Berkowitz, founder/CEO SeeClickFix