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Beth Niblock Joins Biden Admin, Detroit Names New CIO

Detroit CIO Beth Niblock is headed to Washington, D.C., to serve as CIO for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her successor will be Art Thompson, the city’s public safety IT and cyber security director.

Beth Niblock
David Kidd/Government Technology
Earlier today, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appointed Art Thompson as the city’s new chief information officer, replacing Beth Niblock, who has been tapped by the Biden administration to serve as CIO for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

As CIO, Niblock focused on improving city services, spearheading several efforts including improving Detroit’s reporting of service requests, creating a Park Detroit mobile app for metered street parking and monitoring crime through the city’s Real Time Crime Center.

She also oversaw the implementation of Detroit Police Department Crime Viewer, a program that provides up-to-date crime incident data, and the city’s Open Data Portal that allows citizens to acquire data related to city government operations and service delivery.

“There was so much critical work that needed to be done when I came to Detroit in 2014, and Mayor Duggan made sure our team had the resources we needed to get it done every step of the way,” Niblock said in a release.

Now, the baton is being passed to Thompson, who will pick up where Niblock left off.

“One of the best measures of a leader is how well they have prepared their replacement, and Beth has given us an outstanding successor in Art Thompson,” Mayor Duggan said in a release.

Prior to being named CIO, Thompson worked under Niblock as the city’s director of public safety IT and cyber security.

As director, Thompson oversaw all technology for the city’s public safety departments, including police, fire, emergency management and homeland security. This included developing the city’s Real Time Crime Center, overhauling police and fire vehicle technology, deploying police body cameras and establishing alternative 911 communications.

“This absolutely has been a team effort, and Art Thompson has been one of the stars on that team,” Niblock said. “He’s earned this opportunity, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s ready.”

Niblock’s last day will be July 5, and Thompson’s first day will be July 6.
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