Sharon Kandris

Interim Executive Director, Polis Center

Sharon Kandris is serving as Interim Executive Director, Polis Center, with the recent retirement of founding Executive Director David Bodenhamer. She has more than 20 years of experience helping organizations use data and GIS to better understand their communities.

As the center’s Associate Director, Kandris was integral in the development of the SAVI Coronavirus Data & Information Hub, which was nominated for the 2021 TechPoint Mira Community Impact Award celebrating people or organizations that have helped to push Indiana’s tech community forward and is making a difference in Hoosier lives. The Hub also received the Special Achievement in GIS Award from the Indiana Geographic Information Council for demonstrating the power of teamwork, collaboration, and GIS to address pressing community challenges.  She led the creation of the COVID Impact Index, which received a Top Prize from the Census Bureau’s Data for Good Grand Challenge. Currently, she leads development of the SAVI Equity Data and Information Hub (https://bit.ly/3DbiTGH) with input from community stakeholders. It houses content related to Central Indiana’s equity in economic opportunity, environment, health, and more.

Kandris has an established reputation in neighborhood information systems and community informatics. She has consulted with nearly 20 cities across the nation on how to build a sustainable community information system and served on the executive committee of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a 29-city collaboration lead by the Urban Institute to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems in local policymaking and community building. Kandris has partnered on several Urban Institute cross-site studies and routinely helps community-based organizations, not-for-profits, neighborhoods, government, educators, and researchers use neighborhood data to better understand their communities and improve their decision making. She has served on several community advisory committees, provided leadership on community-wide education initiatives, and provided strategic planning and support to nonprofits and local government.