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Pittsburgh CIO Leaves for Job With South Bend, Ind.

Santiago Garces is now the executive director of community investment in South Bend, Ind., after a two-year stint as CIO of Pittsburgh, Pa. Heidi Norman will serve as his replacement for the time being.

by / November 13, 2020
Shutterstock/AevanStock

After serving as CIO of Pittsburgh, Pa., for two years, Santiago Garces has returned to South Bend, Ind., as the city’s executive director of community investment. 

Garces’ last day in Pittsburgh was Nov. 9. Heidi Norman, who has served as Pittsburgh’s deputy director of innovation and performance since 2017, is now the acting CIO for the city. 

Despite his short tenure in Pittsburgh, Garces can cite numerous accomplishments, including some quick steps toward modernization in 2020 during the pandemic. According to an official press release, Garces introduced a technology refreshment program, reorganized his department with attention to specializations and development of technical skills and started overhauling the city’s network, among other activities. 

“Santi had one of the hardest jobs in the City of Pittsburgh and accomplished more than I could have imagined in only two years,” Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto said in the release. “I wish him the best back in South Bend.”

“All organizations are a work in progress, and there is much to be done,” Garces said in the release. “But I have seen our team confront a global pandemic where half of all administrative staff in the city had to be provisioned to work remotely in less than two weeks. I hope that they will continue to receive the support they need to complete these goals as well as future challenges and opportunities.” 

In 2018, Garces came to Pittsburgh after working as chief innovation officer in South Bend under Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Garces’ contributions in South Bend, from his emphasis on strategic goals to his appreciation of data-driven efficiency, were a significant part of the mid-sized city’s tech-driven success under Buttigieg. 

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