Blue pinpoints signify a city chief innovation officer; green indicates a county-level chief innovation officer; and a yellow pinpoint indicates a state-level chief innovation officer. Data current as of March 28, 2014. 

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., and Nashville, Tenn., 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 (data repeated below).

Adams County, Colo.

Nick Kittle, Performance, Innovation and Sustainability Manager

Appointed: January 2014

GovTech Coverage: A Holistic Model for Performance Measurement in Colorado Springs

Austin, Texas

Kerry O'Connor, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: December 2013


Nigel Jacob and Chris Osgood, Co-chairs for the Office of New Urban Mechanics

Appointed: January 2010

GovTech Coverage: Will the Chief Innovation Officer Transform Government?; Boston Tech Innovator to Join Living Cities 


Brenna Berman, Commissioner of the Department of Innovation and Technology

Appointed: June/July 2013           

GovTech Coverage: Chicago Announces New CIO; Big Data Could Bring Government Big Benefits; 3 Reasons Chicago's Analytics Could be Coming to Your City 


Mark Sirangelo, Chief Innovation Officer and Chairman of the Colorado Innovation Network

Appointed: August 2013

GovTech Coverage: Colorado's Second Chief Innvation Officer

Davis, Calif.

Rob White, Chief Innovation Officer for the City Manager's Office

Appointed: March 2013

GovTech Coverage: Davis, Calif., Forms Public-Private Partnership to Hire Chief Innovation Officer; 6 Emerging Technologies and What They Mean to CIOs 

Ferndale, Calif.

Joseph Gacioch, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: Feb/March 2013

Kansas City, Mo.

Ashley Hand, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: January 2013

GovTech Coverage: Kansas City, Mo., Hires City's First Chief Innovation Officer

Los Angeles

Peter Marx, Chief Innovation Technology Officer

Appointed: February 2014

GovTech Coverage: Peter Marx Appointed Los Angeles' Chief Innovation Technology Officer

Louisville, Ky.

Ted Smith, Chief of Economic Growth and Innovation

Appointed: January 2012       

GovTech Coverage: 2012 Year in Review: Chief Innovation Officers; Ted Smith -- 2013 GT Top 25 Winner; Big Data Takes on Chronic Disease; Does 3-D Printing Change Everything?


Michael Powell, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: August 2012

GovTech Coverage: CIO Michael Powell Discusses Maryland's Push for Big Data


Tony Parham, Government Innovation Officer for the Commonwealth

Appointed: August 2012

GovTech Coverage: Will the Chief Innovation Officer Transform Government?

Montgomery County, Md.

Dan Hoffman, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: October 2012

GovTech Coverage: Will the Chief Innovation Officer Transform Government?

Nashville, Tenn.

Kristine LaLonde and Yiaway Yeh, Co-Chief Innovation Officers for the Office of Innovation

Appointed: April 2013

New York City

Rahul Merchant, Chief Information and Innovation Officer

Appointed: April 2012

GovTech Coverage: NYC Names Rahul N. Merchant to CIO and Innovation Role

Pittsburgh, Penn.

Debra Lam, Chief Innovation and Performance Officer

Appointed: January 2014

GovTech Coverage: Pittsburgh Uses Holistic Approach to City Services, Sustainability; Thinking Big on Sustainability; Pittsburgh's Debra Lam on Bringing Her International Work Home


Adel Ebeid, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: August 2011

GovTech Coverage: Adel Ebeid -- 2014 GT Top 25 Winner; 2012 Year in Review: Chief Innovation Officers; Microsoft and Philadelphia Pair Up through CityNext Program; Philly Teaches Officials with New Innovation Academy 

Redlands, Calif.

Danielle Garcia, Chief Innovation Officer

Riverside, California

Lea Deesing, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: March 2013

GovTech Coverage: Riverside, Calif., Hires New Chief Innovation Officer; CIOs Share Their Secrets for Success 

San Francisco (City and County)

Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: January 2012

GovTech coverage: U.S. Mayors Form Technology and Innovation Task Force; 2012 Year in Review: Chief Innovation Officers 

San Leandro, Calif.

Deborah Acosta, Chief Innovation Officer

Appointed: January 2013

Research by Maggie Cabrey

Jessica Mulholland  |  Web Editor/Photographer

Jessica Mulholland has been a writer and editor for more than 10 years. She was previously the editor of Emergency Management magazine, and she loves that she can incorporate her passion for photography into her work as a part of the Government Technology editorial team. Jessica can be reached at on Twitter and on Google+.

Government Technology Editor Noelle Knell Noelle Knell  |  Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.