Andrew Maxwell serves as Director of Policy and Innovation for the City of Syracuse, NY. In this role he serves as a top policy advisor to Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner and is the founding director of the Mayor’s Office of Innovation at Syracuse City Hall.
Maxwell previously served as Director of the Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency (SOCPA) under Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, beginning in June of 2013. The Agency acts as a consolidated planning department for both the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County, and performs planning, zoning, Geographic Information Systems, sustainability, historic preservation, public art and urban design functions for the City and County. As Director, Maxwell worked to promote sound planning in Syracuse and Onondaga County that fosters greater economic vitality, environmental stewardship and improved quality of life. Maxwell reorganized SOCPA, emphasizing smart-growth planning and support services to Onondaga County’s 19 Towns and 15 Villages, as well as the City of Syracuse. He oversaw the completion of the City of Syracuse Comprehensive Plan: 2040, the most detailed and extensive municipal plan in the city’s history. This Plan has led to the initiation of the City’s first-ever effort to holistically rewrite its zoning ordinance in order to improve predictability in the development community and create better outcomes for neighborhoods.
Prior to his service at SOCPA, Maxwell was the founding Director of Syracuse’s Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, created by Mayor Miner in January 2010. In this role Maxwell worked with the City’s Department of Neighborhood & Business Development to integrate urban design principles into the business pre-development process and was an advocate for development sensitive to historic and neighborhood character. The Bureau of Planning & Sustainability coordinated the City’s efforts relative to the completion of the Onondaga Creekwalk and the Syracuse Connective Corridor. Collaborating with partners at Syracuse University and Onondaga County, the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability led the City’s efforts to successfully obtain $10 million in federal funding for the construction of the final phases of the Connective Corridor. Maxwell also spearheaded the City’s partnership with the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge program which brought experts from IBM to Syracuse to study the city’s vacant property problem in the fall of 2011.
Prior to his tenure as planning director, Maxwell served as Senior Neighborhood Planner for the City of Syracuse’s Department of Community Development under Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll, where he managed the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the City’s Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT) citizen participation program, Community Development Block Grant programming (CDBG), and the AIA’s Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program, as well as other housing, planning, and community development related initiatives.
Maxwell serves on the board of directors of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) and serves on the Onondaga Lake Watershed Partnership, Onondaga County Agriculture Council and the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council.
He received his bachelor’s degree in history and American studies from St. John Fisher College in Rochester and his Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Maxwell was born and raised in Syracuse and is a proud graduate of the Syracuse City School District.