Dave Zelenok is an internationally-recognized civic innovator, speaker and
licensed civil engineer who founded the nation’s first municipal Innovation
Team focusing on emerging transportation and smart cities technologies.
Dave has thirty years of senior management experience at the municipal,
state and federal levels as well as a consulting engineer managing the “full
spectrum” of transportation service delivery and public works, including
Aviation, Mass Transit, Civil Engineering, Toll Highway, Public Works
operations. He has worked for a number of engineering consultancies and is
now the Manager of Local Government Services for HR Green, Inc. He
consults with public sector agencies and the private sector on smart cities technologies,
innovation processes, transportation infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships.
From 2007 to 2015, he served in a number of roles for the City of Centennial, Colorado
(population 110,000) – including Chief Innovation Officer, Interim City Manager and Director of
Public Works. While with Centennial, he led the outsourcing of its entire Public Works
Department, in a move which is widely recognized as the largest conversion of its kind to a
public-to-private partnership (P3) in the nation. Dave helped lead a voter-approved initiative to
authorize the deployment of municipal broadband throughout the community in partnership
with the private sector, the first major city in Colorado to do so. Under his leadership, former
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recognized Centennial as one of 14 cities
internationally to be awarded a multi-million grant to advance their use of innovation and smart
Dave served fourteen years as Director of Public Works and Transportation for the City of
Colorado Springs. His responsibilities included the construction of 400 miles of new streets and
highways and hundreds of new fiber optic interconnected traffic signals, largely through
exactions and public-private partnerships (P3’s) with the development community valued at
roughly $2 Billion. He also oversaw Colorado’s longest toll road and second largest mass transit
system, coordinating it with 4 non-profit complementary ADA paratransit systems.
Dave also oversaw the management and operation of the Colorado Springs Airport, and was
responsible for a major expansion project there, including the construction of a new runway and
an entirely new mid-field airport terminal complex. The improvements enabled the creation of a
new coast-to-coast airline with its operational hub and headquarters in Colorado Springs and the
airport was designated the nation’s fastest growing airport under his direction for two
Dave has written and presented educational sessions internationally – from Canada to New
Zealand on a variety of topics including Creating a Culture Innovation, Smart Cities, Creating
Municipal Broadband networks, Smart Growth, Traffic Calming, Livable Communities, Traditional
Neighborhood Design, Innovative Infrastructure Financing and Context-Sensitive Design for
groups such as the Colorado Municipal League (CML), the American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE), the Government Finance Officers’ Association (GFOA), the National Council for Public
Private Partnerships (NCPPP) and to the Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA). He has
testified before a number of Congressional subcommittees in support of increased funding for
multi-modal, surface and air transportation-related issues.
In 2003, he took a leave of absence from his position to serve on active duty as an Air Force
Reservist. Serving as Mobilization Assistant (MA) to the Director of Plans and Programs and more
recently, as MA to the Director of Operations for Air Force Space Command (both Brigadier
General positions), he was heavily involved in operating and managing much of the nation’s $11
billion annual military space program.
He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and
a Masters Degree in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and is registered as a
Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is a
2014 graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in Government Program.