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San Rafael’s Woodbury Takes Over as Data Analytics Czar

Rebecca Woodbury, a 10-year employee of the California city, is being promoted as part of a reorganization of the IT department. In her new capacity she will focus on using data to better inform city services.

(TNS) — A familiar face at San Rafael City Hall has a new title as the director of digital services and open government.

After 10 years as a city employee, Rebecca Woodbury, 35, of Sausalito, has been appointed to the position, City Manager Jim Schutz said.

The new role is part of a reorganization of the former information technology department with expanded services that include data analytics and performance measurement, user-centered service design and community engagement. Woodbury will manage a seven-person staff and a budget of approximately $4.8 million.

She will be paid $138,888 annually.

“What we’re doing is living within our means: We’re using the same budget to do more,” Woodbury said. “We’re really laser-focused on making our existing operations more efficient so that hopefully over time residents will see better service delivery designed around their needs — a more user-centered approach.”

Woodbury said that means her team will perform standard in-house IT duties on top of assisting department staffers to effectively use the software and technology they have to serve the community.

For example, the work put into community outreach and engagement, such as news updates on the website, email newsletters and other postings, will be done “with more intention,” Woodbury said.

“We’ll be using data to make decisions so that there is a more strategic focus to what we’re doing,” she said.

In a statement, Schutz said, “the new department will be a peer and strategic adviser to all other city departments as we evolve our service delivery.

“With Rebecca’s enthusiasm and expertise, San Rafael will be well equipped to be a 21st century government that strategically employs the use of technology and designs services for and with our users,” he said.

Woodbury, who earned the employee of the year award in 2014, most recently served as a senior management analyst in the city manager’s office.

In 2014, she also received the rising star award at the Municipal Management Association of Northern California’s Women’s Leadership Summit. In 2017, she was named one of the “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers” by Government Technology and was a finalist in the Route Fifty Navigator Award in the category of “next generation.”

Woodbury holds a bachelor of arts and a master’s degree in public policy from Mills College in Oakland.

“It’s such an exciting opportunity,” Woodbury said. “To be on the cutting edge of where government needs to be going to respond to the 21st century, it’s an honor.”

©2019 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.