Jay Nath

San Francisco seeks chief digital services officer to lead online strategy, execution

Port of San Francisco (Photo: Luke Fretwell)

Port of San Francisco (Photo: Luke Fretwell)

San Francisco announced the creation of a new internal digital agency and is looking for a chief digital services officer to lead its efforts.

From the announcement:

The Digital Services Team will partner with departments to modernize digital services citywide. Four fundamental principles guide this task: put the needs of residents first, focus on delivery and outcomes over process, promote an agile and data driven culture, and make City services accessible to everyone.

It’s unclear what the roadmap is for building a support team to execute the city’s digital strategy, and what influence the new role will have in determining its underlying technology, but this is currently the best job opening in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Plus, you get to work closely with Joy Bonaguro and Jay Nath.

Apply here.

‘We see this digital space of empowering our citizens as the next generation of city government.’

Great “Connected Empowerment” video featuring San Francisco Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath and civic action platform, Neighborland.


“Cities and government, in general, we’re really factories of data, which is not our data. It rightfully belongs in the public domain.”

“We see this digital space of empowering our citizens as the next generation of city government.”


Hacking taxis and ‘making life in SF a little better’

SF Mayor Ed Lee and Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath with SF Taxi & Mass Communication Challenge attendees (Photo: Mix & Stir Studio)

SF Mayor Ed Lee and Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath with SF Taxi & Mass Communication Challenge attendees (Photo: Mix & Stir Studio)

Last February, officials from San Francisco collaborated with the California College of the Arts and Mix & Stir Studio for the SF Taxi & Mass Communication Challenge, a 24-hour “unhackathon” focused on “design-driven technology solutions to real world problems.” SF Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath and Mix & Stir’s Christopher Ireland share their thoughts on building a hackathon that incorporated design thinking and “learning about customers from the start.”

Why focus on taxis for a hackathon?

Christopher Ireland: From CCA’s and participants perspective, this is a real problem – and one they experience regularly. They directly benefit from its solution.

Jay Nath: This is a long standing issue for our residents and one that we thought could benefit from design thinking.

How did the idea for this transpire?

CI: Again from CCA and Mix & Stir perspective, we are seeking real problems or “pain points” that can be solved through collaborations between designers, technologists and business experts. The city’s willingness to share data sets, to move quickly and decisively, and to provide background and expert contacts was key for us.

JN: We had been in conversations with CCA and Mix & Stir about the idea of a civic innovation lab. This transformed into a discussion about applying design thinking to civic challenges which led to our thinking of specific issues like the taxi one to test out our theories.

What role did SF play in the event and why?

JN: We worked closely with CCA and Mix & Stir on how to ensure that we had the right stakeholders in the room. That meant getting taxi drivers, dispatchers, our taxi director, etc., on a panel and then all day Saturday as resources for teams. We also had city leadership including our mayor, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin and Supervisor Scott Weiner attend to show support.

What was successful about the event and what lessons did you learn?

CI: For Mix & Stir, the event was a success because SF gained useful, viable ideas; our participants experienced the value of cross-discipline collaboration; everyone saw the importance of design to creating and communicating the solution, and we reaffirmed the importance of listening to and learning about customers from the start. For CCA, all of the above holds, but they would also add that sharing their facilities, faculty and student talent is in line with their strategic mission to support the SF community.

JN: We transformed many city staff into believers of the power of design thinking and how multidisciplinary teams can create new ideas and solutions. With 10 teams, we saw novel ideas that will help shape the direction the City takes to move from these solutions to incubating and productizing.

What are the next steps? How are you going to build on this?

CI:: For Mix & Stir, we first want to fully document the ideas and help the city implement the ones it can. This can be as minimal as gathering and providing work files, or we could incubate 1-2 of the ideas at CCA this summer to test it in a real world setting. We would love to work on another challenge for the City in the future as well.

JN: We are working with SFMTA and Mix & Stir to look at how to take the best ideas and bring them to life. We have some interesting ideas that we will be sharing as we make progress.

SF Mayor Ed Lee discusses the event in this interview with TechCrunch’s Eric Eldon:

Jay Nath named San Francisco chief innovation officer

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Jay Nath has been appointed Chief Innovation Officer for the City and County of San Francisco. More about Nath at here on GovFresh and SF.GovFresh.

Nath on the value of a city innovation officer:

My interview with Nath, then Director of Innovation, and SF Chief Information Officer Jon Walton:

[audio:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/govfresh/2011/09/23/sf-cio-jon-walton-director-of-innovation-jay-nath.mp3|titles=SF CIO and Innovation Director discuss city’s tech progress innovation]

Nath presents at sf.govfresh, Sept. 1, 2010, San Francisco:

SF CIO, Innovation Director discuss city’s tech progress, innovation


[audio:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/govfresh/2011/09/23/sf-cio-jon-walton-director-of-innovation-jay-nath.mp3|titles=SF CIO and Innovation Director discuss city’s tech progress innovation]

San Francisco Chief Information Officer Jon Walton and Director of Innovation Jay Nath discuss government innovation and the work they’re doing within the SF Department of Technology.

Building Gov 2.0 community in San Francisco

Building Gov 2.0 Community in San Francisco: Abhi Nemani of Code for America, Jay Nath of the SF Dept. of Technology, and Chris Heuer, co-founder of the Social Media Club, join Gov 2.0 Radio to talk about building sustainable Gov 2.0 community at the grassroots level.