San Francisco has announced Joy Bonaguro as its first chief data officer through a Twitter post from city CIO Marc Touitou.

According to her LinkedIn Profile, Bonaguro previously worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory providing support for IT policy. Before this, she served the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and at Cal eConnect.

The announcement came via Twitter, where Touitou said that Bonaguro had already started work.

“Yes ... San Francisco just hired Joy Bonaguro and she started a week ago!” Touitou wrote.

Calls and emails to the city were not immediately returned for comment.

Joy Bonaguro began work as San Francisco's chief data officer in late February. Photo via

In an April 2013 interview on the website, Bonaguro was described as a policy expert who worked closely with both the National Lab’s CIO Council and the Department of Energy Information Management Advisory Group “to help develop Department of Energy information policy.”

Earning her master's from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, Bonaguro focused heavily on IT policy development and implementation, which included work on HITECH and online accessibility.

In a speaking engagement at the O’Reilly Strata Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., San Francisco’s Deputy Innovation Officer Shannon Spanhake said the role of chief data officer in San Francisco would be to standardize the city’s data policies across departments and make the city’s data more user-friendly and accessible. Bonaguro, Spanhake said, would also be tasked to establish and manage data coordinators within individual city departments to develop and monitor data efforts. San Francisco officially amended its legislation in September 2013 to make way for the position.

Asked what inspired her to take a career in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics discipline, Bonaguro told she enjoyed mathematics for its many uses and technology for its ability to support social good.

“I figured if I understood the language of mathematics I could do lots of things. But then, right out of college, I got into technology, working for the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. What inspired me at the Data Center was that if you are smart and thoughtful about technology you can change the world,” Bonaguro said.

At the data center, Bonaguro said she was an early pioneer in the data democratization movement and used technology to increase participation in public decision making for the disenfranchised.

“Through that experience, I saw that technology can either support good policy and decision-making or it can actually derail it. I continued to work in New Orleans, before and after Katrina and the importance of public technology really became salient during and after that disaster as we worked to rebuild data and information systems about the city,” she said.