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Tim Dupuis

Tim Dupuis, CIO, Alameda County

Tim Dupuis, CIO, Alameda County
Eyragon Eidam/Government Technology
|  Tim Dupuis’s profile

More than 50 languages are spoken in Alameda County, Calif., just across the bay from San Francisco. And those languages are spoken within a population of over 1.6 million people, giving county leaders a massive task of connecting to everyone. But CIO Tim Dupuis welcomes the challenge. “Regardless of social or income status within the community or language, everybody seems to have some level of contact with technology,” he said.

Starting from his time as an intern with the Public Works Department in Santa Ana, Dupuis has dedicated his career to the way technology comes together with community. When he took on the role of Alameda’s chief technology officer 19 years ago — he became CIO 12 years later — the department was focused on the fundamentals. But the transition to working on more is what drives Dupuis. The county is now getting involved in some big initiatives on poverty and homelessness, to address community disparities. Still, Dupuis wonders, “How do we bring a technology thought process to some of the solutions?”

One way is to maximize the use of transparency and open data to impact social service programs. Dupuis also has the unique position of serving as registrar of voters as well as CIO, a role that affords him direct community impact. He sees it as a testing ground for county tech: “We’re able to use the registrar’s office as a way to showcase different technologies that can be impactful, not just [here], but in all of the different departments.”

Now Dupuis is using that forward-looking mindset and applying it to his workforce. In late 2018, his department moved into a new open-concept workspace in a renovated bank in downtown Oakland, which he said is fostering innovation among his staff and also attracting a younger cohort. “We’re showing a modern work environment in this very historic building in a pivotal part of Oakland,” he said, “which I think is transformative in the way that we perform our government functions through technology.”
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.