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L.A. County Public Defender's Office Appoints First CIO

Mohammed Al Rawi, who led tech initiatives for the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation District, has accepted the newly created CIO spot within the county’s public defender’s office beginning March 25.

Mohammed Al Rawi, the award-winning chief information officer for the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation District, is moving to a new role.

Al Rawi will become the first CIO of the county Public Defender’s Office on March 25, overseeing the strategic planning, development, modernization and ongoing analysis of IT, IT governance, data management and the Client Case Management System (CCMS), according to Rebecca Friedman, Media Services director for Information Technology Services in the county’s Internal Services Department.

Al Rawi will lead the development and the implementation of technology infrastructure supporting the department’s 1,100-employee workforce, which includes more than 700 attorneys and numerous paralegals, investigators, psychiatric social workers and administrative and support staff.

In a statement issued through Friedman, Al Rawi said: “The Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office is the first Public Defender agency in the nation. Innovation, therefore, is a part of its DNA. I am looking forward to bringing innovative technologies to support its 700 mission-driven attorneys with providing legal representation to those who cannot afford their own lawyers.”

Al Rawi was named one of Government Technology’s 2018 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, & Drivers, “honoring his work in bringing innovative solutions to digitize and automate business processes and solve complex, life-saving business challenges,” Friedman noted.

In his two years as Parks and Rec CIO, Al Rawi worked to update and upgrade the IT infrastructure of Los Angeles County’s parks, trails, forests and other facilities. Among other things, he brought in technology that helps lifeguards detect and prevent drownings in the county’s swimming pools; and other tech that uses Wi-Fi in county parks and forests to attract and safeguard hikers and adventure-seekers.

Before joining Parks and Rec in 2016, Al Rawi “led establishment of the county’s first consolidated, robust and cost-efficient data center while serving as deputy for technology and innovation for County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Before joining the county, Al Rawi was technical director for the Los Angeles Times' news bureau in Baghdad, overseeing IT operations for dozens of journalists covering the Iraq war and its aftermath. In 2006, Al Rawi was awarded the Best Staff — Los Angeles Times Editorial Awards.

Al Rawi earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science summa cum laude from California State University, Los Angeles.


This article originally published by, which is part of e.Republic, Government Technology's parent company.

Dennis Noone is the managing editor of Techwire.
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