After five years as San Francisco's CIO, Jon Walton is leaving the city on Jan 11, 2013. On Jan. 14, he begins his new position as CIO of San Mateo County and director of the county's Information Services Department (ISD).
“We are excited to have Jon join San Mateo County as we design a new model for IT service
delivery – one that provides flexibility and adapts well to change,” said San Mateo County Manager John Maltbie in a press release. Walton was selected following a national search that attracted more than 100 applicants. A rigorous interview process included ISD employees, other county departmental representatives, Bay Area executives and technology leaders, and county leadership.
Under Walton's leadership, San Francisco created a citywide IT training program in partnership with employee organizations; completed its first five-year Information and Communications Technology Plan; and received many awards for its mobile, Web and SFGovTv services. This year, San Francisco won a Digital Government Achievement Award in the Government-to-citizen Local government category for its San Francisco Property Information Map. Walton has also been a part of the Gang of 7, an informal group of big-city IT executives that was working to establish a shared data repository that could become a foundation for multi-city apps and performance metrics.
“In addition to customer service excellence, Jon brings a wealth of experience that will help us streamline our core infrastructure, provide more services online, and create a more open, data-driven decision-making environment,” said San Mateo Deputy County Manager Reyna Farrales, who has served as interim CIO since May.
Of all the things Walton has overseen as CIO, he says the two things he's most proud of are setting up a solid IT governance structure, and connecting the community via technology. "All departments and all the people are very involved and engaged," he said, "and we were able to make some good progress internally on our shared vision and shared projects."
As for why Walton decided to make the move to San Mateo County, he says it's all about new challenges and change. "It's just part of my personality," he said. "When I met with [San Mateo County] and talked with them about what they wanted to accomplish, it got me really excited because there's just so much opportunity there that takes some of the things I've learned in San Francisco, and some of the things I've seen working in some other organizations in California, and we can try to take some of those successes and replicate them, and maybe come up with some new things in San Mateo."
Photo by David Kidd