Meet Boston’s new CIO: entrepreneur Jascha Franklin-Hodge.
On June 25, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that Franklin-Hodge, who attended MIT but dropped out, will replace interim CIO Justin Holmes this month to lead technology efforts in the city.
“We can use technology to make it easier for Bostonians to do business with the city and to empower city employees to provide great service,” Franklin-Hodge said in a press release. “Access to the Internet and technical skills can enhance educational and economic opportunity, and Mayor Walsh and I share a vision for a more connected Boston.”
Franklin-Hodge’s resume includes serving as an adviser to Code for America in 2009, heading software development for AOL, and founding Blue State Digital (BSD) in 2004. Through BSD, Franklin-Hodge provided an online fundraising, email and CRM platform used by more than 500 clients accounting for more than $1.6 billion in online donations.
Most notably, President Barack Obama used the platform to establish a more prominent technology-focused image during his presidential campaigns. Other clients include former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean; One Fund Boston; the Democratic National Committee; Partners in Health; Google; the NAACP, SEIU; and the current presidents of France, Brazil and Mexico.
Franklin-Hodge also was named as one of Government Technology's Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in 2009.
In a YouTube video posted by the city, at left, the new CIO glides to the foreground on one of Boston’s Hubway bicycles, used in the city’s bike sharing program.
“What we want to do is use technology to make Boston work better for you,” Franklin-Hodge tells the camera. “To make it easier to do business with the city, whether it’s online or with a mobile device. And if we give city employees great digital tools, it’s going to help them provide great service. […] I’ve seen how Internet access and technical skills can lead to educational and economic opportunity.”