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Jessica Tisch Out as New York City CIO, to Take on New Role

Tisch told colleagues she would keep serving the city under the Adams administration. Her departure comes as the city reportedly plans to reorganize its IT agencies and follows just weeks after CTO John Paul Farmer’s exit.

NYC DOITT Commissioner Jessica Tisch
Jessica Tisch announced her departure as the CIO of New York City this week.

But she isn’t closing the door on public service and will continue working for the city, according to her goodbye email to colleagues in the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), which a city spokesperson shared with Government Technology.

The city did not respond by press time to a request for details about Tisch’s new role or the reason for her job change.

Her exit from the CIO’s office follows closely after city CTO John Paul Farmer’s own departure, announced on Dec. 23, 2021, and comes as new mayor Eric Adams takes office.

Bigger changes are in the works as well. Newly appointed CTO Matt Fraser — who, like Tisch, was picked while New York City Police Department (NYPD) deputy commissioner of IT — told City & State that NYC intends to reorganize its IT and technology agencies so that they are all overseen by “a single office.” As part of the planned changes, the CIO-led DoITT will start reporting to the CTO, Fraser said.

Tisch was appointed NYC CIO in December 2019, after serving as deputy commissioner of IT at NYPD.

In her farewell email, Tisch highlighted several challenging responsibilities that confronted the department during her two-year tenure as CIO, including restructuring the IT infrastructure behind many city functions and facilitating city personnel’s shift to remote work. Other major asks placed on the department included installing Wi-Fi in shelters (an initiative completed in June 2021, per an NYC spokesperson) and strengthening 311 services to meet the deepening resident demand, she said.

Tisch previously spoke with GovTech in July 2020 about how 311 services were taking on a new life during the pandemic. The 311 teams had to quickly expand their ability to meet a rising volume of requests — which, on one notable day, hit nearly 200,000 calls, far outstripping the 911 service’s daily average of 25,000 calls.

The department also had to rally to meet a wider array of resident needs as New Yorkers began calling in to get food delivered, find doctors if they did not already have one, learn about small business loans and other matters. Tackling the challenge meant building new call centers and ramping up hiring, not only of call takers but also of data scientists, Tisch said. The latter could analyze for patterns to better predict trends, such as days and times in which there would likely be a spike in 311 calls.
Jule Pattison-Gordon is a senior staff writer for Government Technology. She previously wrote for PYMNTS and The Bay State Banner, and holds a B.A. in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon. She’s based outside Boston.