Over the past couple years, Government Technology has covered the rise of a new position in government that holds a particular kind of promise: that of the chief innovation officer.
While there’s usually a technology component in the job description of this new breed of CIO, it’s by no means a given. Often unfettered by the typical duties assigned to a chief information officer, which focus on keeping IT systems functioning to serve business needs, chief innovation officers are charged with implementing fresh ideas that have the potential to transform government.
Some innovation officers find their duties merged with traditional CIO responsibilities, as is the case in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City. Others, like those in Louisville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., and Riverside, Calif., have titles that reveal a link to their jurisdiction’s economic development endeavors.
While the idea may have its skeptics, Montgomery County, Md., Councilmember Roger Berliner told Government Technology in late 2012 that creating a chief innovation officer position is one way to change the culture of government. “People have said to me you can’t shift the culture with a new department, but I don’t know how else to do it. Change is a hard thing. Maybe a beacon of innovation can begin to change things.”
Click on the links in the map above to see the various forms innovation takes in different state and local governments.