I’m excited to announce that I’m joining Microsoft Silicon Valley’s Technology and Civic Engagement Team as the Civic Tech Manager for San Jose. Over the past few years, I’ve worked in local government at the city and county level to drive service delivery and efficiency improvements through leveraging data and technology, building effective community partnerships, and working to shape a new culture in government—one that embraces the power of data and technological innovation to positively impact society.
Most recently, I worked to start the Data Analytics Team in the San Jose City Manager’s Office, where city leaders, led by Mayor Sam Liccardo, have rightfully recognized that technology can empower government and the local community to drive positive change. As a testament to the city’s unified understanding and commitment to this principle, the City Council adopted a comprehensive Smart City Vision, promising to change the way citizens interact with their government and transform the way San Jose government uses technology to conduct its business. But the city cannot succeed alone; it operates in an environment that is highly resource constrained. A collaborative implementation framework that leverages external partners, including private enterprises, will be critical to success.
So why am I joining Microsoft?
I believe deeply in the power of public-private partnerships to improve society, democracy, and humanity, and my work at the intersection of technology and government has led to strong convictions about the promise of technology to bring about substantive change. Over the past year, I have followed Microsoft’s work in San Jose’s civic tech space and in other metros across the country; it has been nothing short of excellent, and their commitment is second to none. In San Jose, Jessica Weare, Philanthropy and Civic Engagement Manager for San Jose, and former Civic Tech Evangelist Kenny Spade (now the leader of the Microsoft Silicon Valley Garage) have cultivated key, foundational partnerships and have fueled tremendous growth in San Jose’s civic tech movement. In joining this team, I intend to drive further impact by bringing together local leaders and resources around the power of technology, social entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.
Sitting in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose has a unique opportunity. We are immersed in a culture that understands technology’s ability to change the world and has the capacity and has the capacity to do so. The imperative, then, is to ensure that our tech talent, resources, and spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation are leveraged for social good in our own backyard. I look forward to tackling this challenge and hope you’ll join me in doing so.
If you have ideas or would like to partner with me on this great adventure, please reach out! You can contact me at @civtechkev on Twitter.