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Los Angeles County Picks Bill Kehoe as Next CIO

Kehoe has served as King County, Wash., CIO for the past seven years, and pending a Board of Commissioners vote, will serve in the same capacity for Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County has picked Bill Kehoe as its next CIO, a move that will likely bring to an end Kehoe’s seven-year tenure in that same position for King County, Wash., which includes Seattle. A spokeswoman with L.A. County told Government Technology via email that the hire will not become official until the Board of Commissioners votes on it, which is expected to happen Tuesday, Sept. 5, at its weekly meeting.

If the hire is made official, Kehoe will replace Richard Sanchez, who retired from the position in 2016, ending a 40-year career in public service. During the search for a permanent replacement, Deputy CIO Peter Loo has served as acting CIO.

During Sanchez’s tenure, the agency was productive, and it created a chief data officer role, built a county open data portal, replaced many outdated legacy applications, assembled a mobile workforce strategy that increased citizen service access, and improved internal operations, launching a Microsoft Office 365 rollout that reached more than 100,000 employees.

Kehoe is poised to be a more than capable replacement, having served as the CIO in King County since 2010, a position in which he was also able to accomplish much. In fact, in July, King County took first place in Government Technology’s Digital Counties Survey 2017, winning in the largest population category. In this past year alone, King County has made significant gains in citizen engagement, including a 33 percent increase in social media followers across 200 government social media pages.

This success is nothing new. While under Kehoe’s leadership, the county has been repeatedly recognized in the Digital Counties Survey, as well as Government Technology’s Best of the Web survey. In 2015, the Metropolitan King County Council created an innovation team — comprising the county’s IT governance committees, business management council and technology management board that will organize new countywide projects around e-government, mobility and open data, Kehoe said at the time. It’s not just an IT project, he said, but also a cultural shift.

Kehoe added that innovation is about getting the county’s business customers to think beyond short-term tactics and to build a strategic plan for long-term success.

“My mantra here,” he said, “has been to put together an organization under a service model and to create these platforms that are sustainable for the future, and I think we’ve made a lot of great progress in both of those areas.”

If his hire is made official by the board, Kehoe will likely need to hit the ground running in Southern California. It’s been a busy 2017 for Los Angeles County, at least in terms of government technology. So far, projects undertaken have included outfitting buses with free Wi-Fi, collaborating with IBM to develop a data sharing portal for child welfare investigations and putting its voting system redesign into the solicitation phase, which is especially significant because L.A. County ranks as the largest local election jurisdiction in the country.

Associate editor for Government Technology magazine.