About the speaker

After growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Kauser Razvi went to college in Boston and has been an urban dweller and city lover ever since.  Love of cities and their complex problems as well as all their exciting possibilities led her to study sociology, journalism and urban planning. Thanks to a career of more than 15 years spent untangling complicated systems, processes and projects in the public and nonprofit sectors, she’s mastered speaking “bureaucracy” while also speaking Spanish, and Urdu.

Some of her projects have included developing the first enterprise geographic information system (GIS) for the City of Chicago working with all 42 city departments to use mapping data for improving department processes and citizen access. She led a three-year effort to support the improvement of access to, quality of, and data on, Out of School Time programs to enhance the network around youth engagement in Chicago. Kauser has also worked with Cleveland Municipal School District on various projects to improve operations, and has supported the Cleveland Transformation Alliance in their strategy and outreach efforts. She now works at DigitalC, a non-profit focused on using technology for community impact.

A thread throughout all these consulting projects throughout the country is a focus on building collaboration and connection to bring about the social changes we want to see in organizations and place. A driving factor in this work is her belief that civic democracy requires informed, effective and transparent government organizations working for social benefit.

In a break from all the bureaucracy, she started LiteraryLots.org to bring story books to life in vacant space. The idea stemmed from the idea of “walking into a book” and using the space and power of story to engage a community to actively come together to read and create.

Kauser approaches her personal life with the same passion she has for her work. She is always trying to remember to do the everyday things everyday, adding books to the reading list, planning summer travel, letter writing, and walks for ice cream during her free time.  She has lots of fantasies that one day, she’ll finish writing that children’s book she started and have a clean desk.

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"Some people's fantasies are other people's nightmares." Kauser's quote in the last seven minutes of her presentation as she spoke of her family and a possible Muslim registry really personalized our new "reality" under a new POTUS.

Mark Madere • June 21, 2017