Montgomery County, Md.'s First Chief Innovation Officer to Depart

During his five years with the county, Dan Hoffman has helped to define innovation for the agency.

by / June 2, 2017
Dan Hoffman's last day as chief innovation officer for Montgomery County, Md., is June 16. David Kidd/e.Republic

Dan Hoffman, the first chief innovation officer for Montgomery County, Md., is leaving his position to become an assistant city manager in Gainesville, Fla., according to a community news report.

Hoffman has been in the position since 2012, following a stint as a project manager at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In his role as the inaugural innovation leader for Montgomery County, Hoffman has naturally been instrumental in carving out what the position does for the county, including work related to open data, emerging technologies and smart cities.

“Our innovation program has had to work hard to define what innovation is,” Hoffman told Government Technology in January.

To focus his work in his position, Hoffman has said that the county developed a clear definition of what innovation was, based on three criteria: First, it must be testable in a lean, iterative and entrepreneurial manner. Second, there must be potential to scale the idea if it proves successful. Third, it must be experimental and risky.

Commitment to the third item in particular is in keeping with the reason Hoffman gave for making this change.

“Due to the nature of this job, you don’t want someone to have it for 20 years. You want someone new to shake up the snow globe and see where flakes fall,” he told My Montgomery Community Media. “It needs churn. I’d be doing the county a disservice if I allowed myself to get into a comfortable rut.”

Hoffman’s last day will be June 16; in his new role, he will likely oversee public works, parks and recreation, and transportation.

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