Mayor Nutter Appoints First Chief Data Officer

Chief Data Officer Mark Headd will work on government transparency and Open Data efforts.


Philadelphia, September 6, 2012 –  Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced Mark Headd has begun serving as the first Chief Data Officer (CDO) for the City of Philadelphia under the Office of Innovation and Technology.  The Chief Data Officer will be accountable for the implementation of the Open Data policy, including creating a City department data catalogue to make data available for public consumption.

“Our Open Data policy will increase transparency in City government and improve information sharing and collaboration to benefit every Philadelphian,” said Mayor Nutter.  “A critical part of that process is finding the right person to oversee the implementation of the Open Data policy.  I believe Mark Headd, with his experience and commitment to the free flow of information, is the right person for that job.”

Signed on April 26, 2012, Executive Order 1-12 established an Open Data policy, including the creation of the Chief Data Officer position, and created the Open Data Working Group.  The Open Data policy requires the City to publish data online and expands opportunities for the public to participate in the decision-making process with the creation of the Open Government Portal, an easily navigable open data catalogue and feedback mechanism.


“I’m thrilled and honored to be chosen to serve the City of Philadelphia in this important role,” said newly appointed Chief Data Officer Mark Headd.  “The entrepreneurial and creative spirit in Philadelphia casts a long shadow, and other cities are taking note of what is happening here. The Mayor and CIO’s plan for open data will be the catalyst for new innovation in how citizens communicate and interact with city government. I’m looking forward to partnering with the technology, education and civic communities to help harness the power of open data for positive change.”


Adel Ebid, Chief Innovation Officer added, “The Chief Data Officer is the ultimate data matchmaker.  The vision for this new role is to create new innovation and citizen engagement opportunities for collaboration by bridging the gap between those who generate data and those who consume data.”


Headd most recently worked as the Director of Government Relations at Code for America where he assisted in open data and civic innovation efforts in cities across the country.  He is a member of the Open Access Philly initiative.  Headd holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.


“The way cities work is changing. They’re evolving to better engage citizens, connect with each other, and leverage data for better decision-making,” said Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America. “The City of Philadelphia has been a leader in that movement, and we’re honored to have one of our own join their ranks as the Chief Data Officer. Mark has been a long-time trailblazer in the civic technology and open data space, and we look forward to seeing what he will accomplish from inside City Hall.”


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