Commission application number 111 submitted by Josef Merrill on 06/10/2020

First Name Josef
Middle Name/Initial E
Last Name Merrill
Voter Unique Identification number 2129044134
Ethnicity White
Gender Male
Age 45-54
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued East Asian Studies (undergrad), Economics/Finance (grad)
What is your occupation? Venture Capitalist
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78748
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78748
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
Spouse/Domestic Partner First Name Jennifer
Spouse/Domestic Partner Middle Name/Initial J
Spouse/Domestic Partner Last Name Merrill
Are you applying to be the student member of the commission? No
Have you been continuously registered to vote in the City of Austin for the last five years? Yes
Have you voted in 3 of the last 5 City of Austin general elections (or corresponding runoff if applicable)? Yes
Been appointed to a state or city office? No
Been elected to a state or city office? No
Been a candidate for a state or city office? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of the campaign committee of a candidate for elective state, county, or city office? No
Been a registered state or local lobbyist? No
A paid employee of the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional services contract with the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to the City Council of the City of Austin or to any individual member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
A controlling person of a person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to any member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
Contribute or bundle one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more in aggregate to candidates for City of Austin elective office? No
Please describe your relevant analytical skills. I am a former US Diplomat (economic officer) and am highly skilled at doing socio-demographic studies with an emphasis on democracy building, civil rights, and social/economic mobility. Furthermore, I previously was a NBER research fellow at the UC Berkeley Institute of Government Affairs.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I have been an independent voter for over 20 years and do not donate to any political party.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. Many people are fortunate to be born here. I chose to move here because of the diversity of people and places. Stating that Austin is "weird" is just another way of saying, "come as you are", and accepting our differences because we genuinely appreciate the variety and richness of our lives with so many interesting people to know.
Please provide your employment history. In chronographic order: Research Assistant, Institute of Governmental Affairs, UC Berkeley - quantitative research in social sciences Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat Corps), Washington DC, Sarajevo, Abuja, Seoul - applied social science to solve worlds problems Executive, Deere and Company - Various roles in finance, corporate development and Strategy Financial Planning and Analysis Executive, Apollo Global - international planning for Carlyle backed education investment fund. Entrepreneur - founded and exited Pan Am Education, the first fully online, blended learning company. Partner, Sputnik ATX -cofounded one of Austin's leading early stage investment funds and accelerators.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. I also volunteer on several charter school and university board of trustees, as well as being a founding board member of the STEM Academy (stem101.org) dedicated to improving access to STEM education, particularly among low-income and underrepresented student groups.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? From family or friend
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Josef Ervin Merrill
District District 8
Does this application qualify? Yes