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Kansas City, Mo.’s First Ever CDO Leaves for Job in Texas

Eric Roche, who has served as the Kansas City, Mo., chief data officer since 2015, has started a new position as the budget officer for the city of Pearland, Texas. He announced the career move Monday via Twitter.

by / July 14, 2020

Eric Roche, Kansas City, Mo.'s first-ever chief data officer, has left his position for a new opportunity with the city of Pearland, Texas. 

Roche announced on Twitter Monday that he would be serving as Pearland's new budget officer. In an email to Government Technology, Roche said the new job would still deal heavily with data. 

“I look forward to serving as Budget Officer for the City of Pearland where we will be using data-driven management to guide the allocation of resources, improve operational efficiency and equity, and continue building public trust through increased transparency," said Roche. "Pearland is an incredible opportunity [to] marry the recent advances in city data practices with strategic funding decisions.” 

Chris Hernandez, director of communications for Kansas City, also confirmed via email that Roche had left his position. 

"Yes, our first ever Chief Data Officer Eric Roche, departed KCMO last week for another city government job," said Hernandez. "We are sad to lose him, but we understand that change happens, and his new city is lucky to get his talents." 

Roche had been with Kansas City since 2013, when he was brought on as a municipal management trainee, according to his LinkedIn. Within two years he had become CDO, a position he held for the next five years. Under Roche, the city further developed a comprehensive open data platform called Open Data KC, which allows residents to access raw data at a neighborhood level, including crime and 311 reports. 

Hernandez said that the city is currently in the process of evaluating what a new CDO candidate might look like. 

"With any change comes opportunity, and we are using this opening to evaluate what requirements we would want in a future chief data officer," he said. "Our city uses an amazing amount of data to drive our decision making every day, and this is something that will continue."

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Lucas Ropek Staff Writer

Lucas Ropek is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and writer in Massachusetts and New York. He received his Bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College in Ohio. He lives in Northern California.

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