Seema Iyer – Associate Director, Jacob France Institute

Seema D. Iyer PhD is associate director of the Jacob France Institute (JFI) in the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business. Dr. Iyer oversees the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at JFI, which is also part of the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership of sites that provide longitudinal, community based data on demographics, housing, crime, education and sustainability. Her research focuses on the role of data sharing in collaborative public innovation processes. From 2016-2017, she served as a consultant to the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Information Technology on the city’s Open Data program. She is the 2021 recipient of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents faculty award for Excellence in Public Service.

Academically, Dr. Iyer is the director of the undergraduate program in Real Estate & Economic Development. at the University of Baltimore. She teaches courses on real estate principles and local economic development. In 2017, she was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in Bangalore, India, researching the relationship between master planning processes and urban governance reform. Prior to joining UBalt, Dr. Iyer served as Chief of Research & Strategic Planning for Baltimore City’s Planning Department.

Contact Seema Iyer at (410) 837-5797 or E-mail: [email protected]

Cheryl Knott – Research Manager

Cheryl KnottCheryl Knott is the Research Manager for the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute. For over thirteen years Cheryl has worked to ensure the accuracy, consistency, and reliability of community indicators that describe the quality of life for Baltimore City communities. She coordinates with staff and external data-creating agencies to produce customized statistical and research reports and evaluations that examine neighborhood-level trends on socio-economic characteristics, crime and safety, public health, housing and community development, educational achievement, and sustainability.

Cheryl also provides training to the public on using data resources, community asset mapping, evidence-based practices, and communicating data for grant writing. Cheryl is involved in coordinating Baltimore Data Day, an annual event that brings together a diverse audience to talk about data and resources in the city. She is a proponent of data democratization and has a strong interest in making data open and usable to the public as well as other professionals.

Prior to her arrival at BNIA-JFI in 2007, Cheryl studied at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Systems and a certification in Cartography in 2007 and a Master’s degree in Applied Sociology in 2013. Her research interests include the relationship between crime and the built environment, including developing new quantitative measures for studying urban crime risk at the block level.

In 2017 Cheryl was awarded the University of Baltimore Staff Award for Extraordinary Public Service to the University and Greater Community for her work on communicating data and information. She recently served two terms as the Data and Resources Subcommittee Chair for the Maryland State Geographic Information Committee (MSGIC) and is currently appointed to the Maryland Council on Open Data. In her spare time, Cheryl is a co-organizer for MaptimeBmore.

Contact Cheryl Knott at (410) 837-4377 or E-mail: [email protected] | Personal Site

Logan Shertz – Research Analyst

A Baltimore City resident and University of Baltimore alumnus, Logan is a Research Analyst at BNIA-JFI. In addition to geographic analysis for the preparation of the annual Vital Signs report, he communicates the organization’s work to the general public and contributes to custom data projects that range from database design for public agencies to educational programs on the economics of sustainable infrastructure. He also assists in coordinating Baltimore Data Week, a week-long event that focuses on data-backed stories/initiatives from the past year. Logan attends community association meetings and other group gatherings to introduce city residents to the data and exploration tools, in order to grow BNIA’s user base and inject community data into the everyday conversations of Baltimoreans.

Contact Logan Shertz E-mail: [email protected]

Tamara Buchanan – Civic Engagement Fellow

Contact Tamara Buchanan at

Brittany Mcmullan – Real Estate Student Assistant – The Pipeline

Contact Brittany Mcmullan at [email protected]




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Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance
The Jacob France Institute
1420 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
410-837-4377 | [email protected]