Sandra M. Baer
President, Personal Cities
Ms. Baer is the President of Personal Cities, a smart city company dedicated to “imagining the city as it will be.” She works to enroll every stakeholder toward a shared sense of now—toward safe, prosperous, happy communities.
She is a champion of creative collaboration between the public and private sector and has worked with city leaders, worldwide for over 20 years. Through stakeholder engagement, social inclusion and the acceleration of innovative technologies, Ms. Baer inspires coordinated action to make cities smarter.
The goal at Personal Cities is to build trust—to move leaders to faster, better decisions that energize a city toward livability, sustainability and citizen happiness.
Ms. Baer has an established network of contacts in the United States and internationally, and a unique ability to create and maintain long-term relationships. As a public speaker, moderator and trainer, Ms. Baer is skilled at building rapport and communicating key messages. She is an effective advocate for strengthening a city’s image and character—engaging the community ecosystem to make every city more prosperous.
As a business development professional Ms. Baer’s career has focused on the value of relationships and the ability to identify strategic opportunities to win business. Throughout her career she has worked to foster cooperation between the public and private sectors, helping elected officials, corporate executives and civic leaders. She has experience in the communications industry—telecommunication, wireless, Internet, broadcasting and cable—and has an extensive background in government affairs, homeland security, cyber security and public safety resilience.
Ms. Baer currently advises innovative smart city/technology firms:
She is a VERGE Senior Advisor for Smart and Resilient Cities, a subsidiary of the Greenbiz Group, focused on the intersection of technology and sustainability.
Ms. Baer has joined the Strategic Advisory Board for Cityzenith, providing the world’s leading data visualization platform software and applications for IoT and Smart Cities.
Ms. Baer is a member of the Advisory Board for Nektria, a software and technology consulting firm focused on smart on- demand transportation solutions.
As a consultant to the UN Foundation, Ms. Baer works to recruit support for the Foundation’s Global Bureau, a coalition of philanthropists and global brands that support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
She is an advisor to Streetwyze, a mobile platform designed to elevate community voices and build healthy, sustainable neighborhoods.
Ms. Baer serves on the Board of Advisors for Ridge-Lane LP, whose mission is to spur economic development in cities, states and regions through real estate and private equity investments.
Ms. Baer has served as a board member and advisor on professional and civic organizations:
- Senior Advisor for Development at the Center for National Policy/Truman Security Project
- Board member of iKeepSafe Coalition
- National Defense Industrial Association
- Women’s Leadership Council at Meridian International Center
- Washington DC Chapter of the Georgetown/Esade Business School Alumni, Barcelona
- The Washington Bach Consort.
As a professional speaker and moderator, Ms. Baer has spoken at Smart City Conferences worldwide:
- The Arab Future Cities Summit, Doha
- MasterCard Inclusive City Summit, Boston
- Arizona State University Public Finance Conference, Phoenix
- Smart Water Networks Forum, Madrid
- ITS-NY Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY
- Smart Cities Conference, Bologna, Italy
- MEED Smart Cities Summit, Dubai
- Smart City Summit, Porto, Portugal
- Visualizing the Smarter City, Charlotte, NC
- Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GIISEC), Dubai
- VERGE City Summit 2015, San Jose, CA
- City Conversations for the UN Habitat III Urban Thinker’s Campus, Dubai
- Keynote speaker at “Smart Solutions for Future Cities,” Kuwait City
- Smart City Assembly, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
- World Free Zone Organization Annual Conference, Dubai
- Wharton DC Innovation Summit, Washington, DC
- VERGE 2016 Conference, Santa Clara, California
Before launching Personal Cities, Ms. Baer served as Senior Director for Alliances at the Smart Cities Council. She was responsible for leading engagement with government and civic leaders in cities around the globe. She successfully led and MC’d over 10 Smart City Now events, showcasing the expertise of city and company leaders to transform cities.
Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Baer was the Lead for Client Development at Bloomberg Government in Washington, DC and initiated high-level contacts across six industry sectors to support the 80-person sales team and win new business from major corporations, non-profits, state and federal government agencies and the U.S. Congress.
Prior to joining Bloomberg, Ms. Baer was the Principal for Business Development at Ridge Global, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s consulting firm. She secured new clients, directed client engagements and advanced the business, political and security interests of the firm’s clients. Ms. Baer directed the firm’s participation in an international consortium to capture business in Saudi Arabia. She was the principal lead for major clients in the wireless infrastructure, telecommunications and cyber security arenas.
Ms. Baer directed External Affairs at Sprint/Nextel Communications. She developed the strategy and led the implementation of Nextel’s public sector external presence around the nation by forging relationships with federal, state and local government leaders. Responsible for raising awareness and building business among Governors, Mayors, Attorneys General and public safety and homeland security officials, Ms. Baer served as the Master of Ceremonies for Sprint Nextel Conferences in the top 50 markets across the nation.
At Discovery Communications, Ms. Baer designed the marketing and promotions strategies to launch 11 websites in 6 languages for Discovery.com International. She has held senior positions at BellSouth International and Cox Communications.
In 2012 Ms. Baer completed the Global Advanced Management Program at Georgetown University/Esade Business School in Madrid. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia and a MBA in Marketing from Georgia State University and American University in Washington, D.C. Ms. Baer lives in Georgetown in Washington, DC and is the mother of two children, Laura and Paul.