Meet Our New Staff: John Branigan and Sam Halperin

Meet Our New Staff: John Branigan and Sam Halperin

Azavea has welcomed two new faces to our team, John Branigan and Sam Halperin.

John joins Azavea as the GIS Project Manager on the Justice and Enterprise Services Team.  John has over 13 years experience working in geographic information systems, database design and analysis, web development and design, and has focused for the last two years on managing large scale web application development projects. He graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies and Anthropology.

Before joining the team at Azavea, he worked at Spectrum Creative Solutions, leading the development team that produced a content managed, data driven marketing platform for higher education recruiting.  John also worked at A.D. Marble & Company, where he employed spatial analysis tools to predict prehistoric archaeological site probability and to model wildlife habitat suitability across the entire Delaware watershed.

During his free time you can find him fiddling with new jQuery plugins or APIs from Google Maps to  After closing his computer, John will either be pedaling his bicycle around his native Philadelphia, improving his bow technique on the acoustic bass, or trying to determine by taste which hops variety was used to bitter that beer in his glass.

Sam joins Azavea as a Software Developer on the Civic Applications team. Sam has over 7 years of experience building web applications using a variety of technologies. Lately he has been focused on creating good user experiences ‘client-side’ using JavaScript, jQuery, Backbone.js and other frameworks. He graduated from Brandeis University in 2011 with a Masters degree in Software Engineering and in 2000 he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art. Sam is currently taking Graduate coursework in Computer Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University.

Before joining the team at Azavea, Sam worked at Solutions for Progress, another Philadelphia area B-Corp.  There he was primarily responsible for prototyping of new development, and front-end engineering, but within the context of the entire web-stack, including database code, CGI, etc.

During his free time, Sam is either on the water or on his motorcycle.  He sails a 420 sailboat (4.2m) out of Long Beach Island NJ, and rides local roads on his “Conny” motorcycle as much as he can.