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South Bend, Ind., Finds New Innovation Office Leader

The city’s former Innovation Officer Santiago Garces left to head up Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation and Performance last month. South Bend has named Denise Linn Riedl as his replacement.

(TNS) — A month after the City of South Bend’s first Chief Innovation Officer stepped down, the city has named Denise Linn Riedl to fill the position.

Riedl previously worked at the City Tech Collaborative in Chicago and also held positions at the Smart Chicago Collaborative and the Federal Communications Commission.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

“We’re excited to bring Denise Riedl’s experience in civic tech and digital inclusion to our administration,” said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in a news release. “She joins one of the best innovation offices in the country, and we look forward to her leadership in expanding opportunities for our residents.”

The city’s Department of Innovation was created in 2015 with the hiring of former Chief Innovation Officer Santiago Garces. The office has focused on using technology and new ideas to improve traditional city services and find new roles for the municipality. Garces stepped down from the position last month after accepting a role as the director of Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation and Performance.

Last year the Office of Innovation spearheaded applications to the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge, which saw the city win $1 million to expand pilot programs connecting low-income residents with affordable rides to work. It also played a role in supporting the Drucker Institute’s development of its Lifelong Learning Initiative.

Riedl will start work for the city on February 11.

©2019 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.