Los Angeles — Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed Indian American Abhi Nemani as Los Angeles' first Chief Data Officer.
As part of Garcetti's effort to build a data-driven culture of innovation and excellence in city government, Nemani will work with city departments to collect and analyze data, and will lead the operation of the city's new open-data portal at https://data.lacity.org/.
Los Angeles' open data initiative began with Garcetti's third executive directive issued on Dec. 18, 2013.
The directive states: "To promote transparency and accountability, the City of Los Angeles will make publicly available raw data in easy-to-find and accessible formats. Open Data is raw data generated or collected by government agencies made freely available for use by the public, subject only to valid privacy, confidentiality, security, and other legal restrictions."
Previously, Nemani served as co-executive director of the non-profit Code for America, a technology organization dedicated to reinventing government for the 21st century.
"Data has the power to transform the daily lives of LA residents and visitors. Knowing where your money is going, where a parking space is available, and where an event is taking place puts information into the hands of those who need it most," Nemani stated in a press release.
Nemani will join Garcetti's Office of Budget and Innovation, headed by deputy mayor Rick Cole, and will work closely with Chief Technology Officer Steve Reneker, Chief Innovation Technology Officer Peter Marx, and the mayor's Innovation Performance Technology Unit. Nemani will start on Sept. 2.
According to Nemani’s biography on his Web site, he is a writer, speaker, organizer, and technologist. Most recently, 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.
Nemani is a member of the Board of Directors for the OpenGov Foundation, a member of the Board of Advisors of Significance Labs, and has served as Innovator-in-Residence at GovDelivery.
Previously, he worked for Google, developing social engagement strategies; the Rose Institute, managing multiple local government transparency research teams; and the Center for American Progress, focusing on connecting a national network of public-minded advocates.
The Indian American graduated magna cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with an honors degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and studied political philosophy and rhetoric at the University of Oxford.