Microsoft Exec John Paul Farmer Named as NYC CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio has selected the former Microsoft technology and civic innovation director as the city's next chief technology officer, the city announced April 23.

by / April 23, 2019
New York City Hall (Shutterstock)

A longtime innovation leader who also served under the Obama administration has been chosen as New York City’s new chief technology officer.

John Paul Farmer, who has worked as Microsoft’s director of Technology and Civic Innovation for the past five years, will serve in the new role, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. He will begin work June 3.

In a prepared statement, de Blasio expressed his confidence in Farmer's abilities.

“Technology helps us provide equal access to services for all New Yorkers,” the mayor said. “I welcome John, who brings a wealth of experience working at the intersection of technology and public service. With his help, we will continue to innovate on behalf of all New Yorkers and further establish our city as a global leader in the tech field.”

Harvard educated and with a lengthy technology career, Farmer comes to the role with a considerable history in the city. Having spent years at Microsoft’s New York City office, Farmer has practice building out programs and partnerships between Microsoft and public agencies. 

In 2015, for instance, Farmer's team worked with de Blasio to create the Tech Jobs Academy — a program “designed to support the growth of the City’s tech ecosystem and prepare New Yorkers for 21st century jobs” that saw collaborations with both the Mayor’s Tech Talent Pipeline and the City University of New York. 

Between 2010 and 2014, Farmer also worked as the senior adviser for innovation in the Obama White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. There, among other things, Farmer created and helped to lead the Presidential Innovation Fellows, which gives a select group of young people opportunities to work on innovative projects for large federal agencies.  

In a statement, Farmer said that he was excited to get started in his new role with the mayor’s office.

“New York is the greatest city in the world, and I’m thrilled to be joining the city of New York as Chief Technology Officer,” said Farmer, in a release. “As CTO, I will work to ensure that technology and innovation benefit all New Yorkers, in every borough, from every walk of life. Simply put, we’re going to solve problems. I‘m eager to get to work!”

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.