San Francisco seeks chief data officer

Port of San Francisco (Photo: Luke Fretwell)
Port of San Francisco (Photo: Luke Fretwell)

After nearly a year since it first announced proposed open data legislation that included the creation of a city chief data officer, San Francisco has officially posted the position.

From the listing:

The CDO shall be responsible for sharing City data with the public, facilitating the sharing of information between City departments, and analyzing how data sets can be used to improve city decision making. To accomplish these objectives, the CDO shall:

(1) Coordinate utilization, maintenance, and updates of the City’s Open Data website, currently known as “DataSF;”
(2) Oversee the design, adoption by the Committee on Information Technology (COIT) and implementation of technical standards for DataSF to ensure that the portal and its datasets are implemented, updated, and utilized in accordance with San Francisco’s open data policies;
(3) Pilot data analysis projects that demonstrate the value of data-driven decision making;
(4) Provide education and analytic tools for City departments to improve and assist with their open data efforts;
(5) Assist departments with compliance with Open Data policies by working with Department Data Coordinators, collecting and reviewing each department’s open data implementation plans and creating a template for the departmental quarterly progress reports;
(6) Present an annual updated citywide implementation plan to COIT, the Mayor, and Board of Supervisors and respond, as necessary, regarding the status of DataSF in the City;
(7) Actively work to further the goals of open data in the City;
(8) Coordinate creation and sharing of internal City data sets outside of those designated for publication on DataSF;
(9) Help establish data standards within and outside the City through collaboration with external organizations;
(10) Assist City departments with analysis of City data sets to improve decision making; and,
(11) Analyze and report on the usage of DataSF.

An obvious pick for the role is SF resident Ian Kalin, who recently joined Socrata as director of open data and previously served as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow focused on Green Button and Project Open Data.

He’s also served in the U.S. Navy as a counter-terrorism officer and a nuclear engineer, neither of which have much to do with open data, but it’s definitely a good ice-breaker when you first meet him.

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at


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