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Lindsey Parker

CTO, Washington, D.C.

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As chief technology officer for Washington, D.C., Lindsey Parker guides tech work for more than 90 internal agencies in a truly unique government, one that functions as city, county and state. Parker has held her position for three years, and she has worked during that time to unite and strengthen tech leadership.

“When someone asks me if we have a centralized or decentralized IT structure, I say ‘all,’” Parker said.

In a broad sense, this means that Parker both works to make sure agencies have what they need in terms of technology, but also that they are free to innovate on their own, directly addressing their specific challenges. This has been a successful approach for the nation’s capital during Parker’s tenure.

With Parker at the helm, her office has helped the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic, working with the health department on complex tools around vaccinations and testing. Parker has also created a digital services team to facilitate better communication with vendors, making sure all city purchases function properly and save money in perpetuity. She has also been involved with digital equity work in the district, specifically Tech Together DC, a push to close the digital divide. All of this, Parker says, is possible because of a focus on process and people, on building the best team with strong leadership and support from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who recently elevated Parker to assistant city administrator as well.

Looking ahead, Parker and her office are building a new business portal, a key platform for the city to recover from the pandemic efficiently and equitably. This project — almost a holy grail of government tech — aims to create a single easy-to-use access point for business owners to interact with the city on everything from licenses to taxes. It speaks to Parker’s deep commitment to user experience.

”Whether you’re calling on the phone, visiting an office or coming to us digitally,” Parker said, “we need to capture what you need, what you want and what makes sense, and build out that capacity.”
Associate editor for Government Technology magazine