I am a catalyst for change, passionate about empowering people, committed to public service, and dedicated to transforming the business of organizations – including government – from the inside through innovative thinking, transparency, and open communication.
I have been called the secret weapon, the woman behind the curtain, the bootstrapped entrepreneur-in-residence. I am scrappy, ragtag, and able to create something from nothing. I have a reputation as a starter, a fixer, and a connector.
I have always seen communications as a public service and aim to empower the public so that they become agents of change in democracy and government. I want to encourage people to work with government, not against it, to achieve great things. Too often both the public and the government get caught up in bureaucracy when open, honest communication would bridge the gaps in understanding. It is my mission to facilitate that discussion.
Throughout my career, I have never been the traditional fit for whatever role I’ve taken on. As a daughter first raised by a single mother then by a single father, I have spent a lifetime standing out, finding a way, and blazing a trail.
Both my background and upbringing have led me to become a compassionate and energetic person with a get-it-done attitude. I say yes first, always, knowing that if a way exists, I will find it.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Treasurer
Director of Digital Engagement
July 2016– Present
Under the direction of the CIO and as a member of the Treasurer’s Economic Empowerment Office, my role will be to connect the financial literacy education responsibilities of the Treasury directly to constituents via digital citizen engagement.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Office of Information Technology
August 2014 – July 2016
Served as catalyst for collaboration between Innovation and Technology in MassIT and external communities, including municipalities, technology associations, quasi-governmental organizations, and IT corporations. Leveraged experience with government innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems to help transform IT at the state by crafting the vision and driving the creation of a Digital Services Division which includes GovNext (a rapid design and development team), Data Office, and DigitalMass (an in-house digital communications agency).
The Capital Network
April 2012 – August 2014
Responsible for providing extensive seed and series capital education including an engaged community of VC and Angel investors that helped upwards of 1,300 early-stage entrepreneurs in Boston annually. Acquired Greenhorn Connect, metro-Boston largest crowd-sourced startup and innovation calendar, and integrated the product into the TCN business model.
City of Boston
Project Lead and Communications Specialist
November 2007 – April 2012
I co-led the Boston Innovation District initiative from inception through year-two implementation, including authoring the vision, strategy, economic development policy, and global communications plan. Additionally, I was a member of the The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and City-wide Digital over fourteen targeted initiatives and programs.
- ENTREPRENUERSHIP 100%
- SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING 90%
- PUBLIC RELATIONS 80%
- INTEGRATED MARKETING 90%
- BRAND DEVELOPMENT 90%
- STRATEGY 90%
- PROGRAM MANAGEMENT 80%
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Again and again, Sam proved herself to be a tirelessly committed public servant that is able to bring incredible levels of energy, creativity, and open-mindedness to everything she touched. I really can’t speak highly enough of Sam. Since her having left City Hall, very few days have passed where my colleagues and I haven’t come across a challenging project where we look at each other and say, “You know who could really do this? Sam Hammar.”
Sam is creative, dedicated, smart and willing to learn any skill she needs to get the job done. During our time at the BRA, she was the driving force behind ONEin3 Money, from sourcing funding to building the website, designing to the programming and writing communications. From start to finish, Sam led the effort and did a fantastic job. At the BRA and beyond, I have seen Sam take leadership over many programs and initiatives, pushing them from idea to execution.
When Sam took on a leading role in the creation and development of the Boston Innovation District, she was once again at the front of developing and deploying a major effort. Sam was a primary member of decision makers in City Hall, determining new policies and programs to foster the growth of the Innovation District. Under her own volition, Sam’s career blossomed as she worked with the City’s Department Heads to provide them new ways of innovating the way they interacted with their constituencies in the District.
“It was realized because of Sam.” That is a statement so, so many people have said. For me, one of the most personally rewarding, professionally meaningful projects was catalyzed because of Sam. The first thing you will notice is her energy, positivity, and passion. From there, the partnerships bloom, the communications rocket, and her leadership drives insanely good outcomes. Outcomes that could only happen when someone with Sam’s skills and talents is rallying disparate organizations and people. Outcomes that could only happen with Sam’s leadership and decision-making driving the project. Start working with her and soon you too will be leading off with that statement said by so many others.
Sam is a natural connector, helping bridge startups to government and government to startups. I am always impressed by her passion, her sense of mission, and her awareness of key efforts across the Commonwealth. She knows where to plug in leaders to drive results versus just continued dialogue.