In this episode we interviewed Abhi Nemani, a technologist, currently serving as the first Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles with Mayor Garcetti, where he leads the charge to build an open and data-driven LA.
Abhi Nemani, Chief Data Officer for the City of LA
He graduated magna cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a honors degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), and studied political philosophy and rhetoric at the University of Oxford.
He helped build, launch, and run the national non-profit, Code for America, a technology organization dedicated to reinventing government for the 21st century.
He also led the organization’s efforts to scale through building multiple new programs: a first-of-its-kind civic startup accelerator, an international volunteer corps, and a collaborative network for hundreds of government innovators.
Additionally, Abhi developed the organization’s policy portfolio — working hand-in-hand with area experts and local leaders — to enact over 30 municipal policy reforms on topics including open data, healthcare, and procurement.
After listening to today’s episode you will learn:
- Abhi’s background which ranges from non-profits, private sector and now government
- How Abhi got involved in Code for America and what they do
- How we’re seeing in tide shift in the way government’s approach technology
- The US Digital Service and how it is pulling people from Twitter, Facebook and Google to build a better government
- About how 365 people applied for 20 spots in Code for America’s first year
- Cities across the country are deeply involved in using data and technology to work better
- The role of MSPs in this new direction in governments across the country
- Whether the government should build in-house or outsource
- Security concerns of new technology and how to best deal with the risks
- How FedRamp and CJIS provide a framework for government to deal with technology vendors
- Why procurement is a top challenge for governments to get the solutions they need
- How a lack of awareness prevents more governments from participating in these initiatives
- Where these initiatives came from and who is ultimately in charge of them
- About the Open Data Portal and how the government wants people to build apps from this data
- How various agencies like EMS, Fire and Police are utilizing data to increase response time and other functions
- Civic engagement being promoted including hackathons and other pro-community engagements
- The challenges government administrations face launching initiatives with short timetables
- What Abhi would change if he could wave a magic wand
- The unique paradox of Open Government creating disrupting technologies and applications
- How there are only a handful of Chief Data Officers nationally
Further Reading and Resources
- Code for America
- Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS)
- Los Angeles Open Data Portal
- My Year in LA by Abhi Nemani
- Abhi Nemani Chief Data Officer of LA
- LA County supervisors OK creation of open-data website
- City of Los Angeles Launches New Open Data Portal
- Garcetti Directs City Departments to Collect Data for Open Data Initiative