The City of Boston has appointed a chief digital officer in Lauren Lockwood, a Harvard Business School grad currently working as a product manager at consulting startup HourlyNerd.
The news, announced Thursday morning on Boston Herald Radio, comes more than six months after Mayor Marty Walsh announced the position’s creation to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Thrilled to announce applications for our Chief Digital Officer position are now open: https://t.co/TyMaXFnCvu
— Daniel Arrigg Koh (@dank) April 29, 2014
Lockwood, originally from Idaho, will start in December.
“I’d be remiss to think I’m going to go in there and change a bunch of things,” Lockwood told Herald Radio of the early stages of her new gig. “Certainly, there are a number of digital assets we can do a lot to improve.” Lockwood cited revamping the City’s website as a priority.
The chief digital officer, we reported in April, will serve full-time within the Department of Innovation and Technology – “an innovative and entrepreneurial leader who has the vision to transform digital government in Boston and enhance the city’s position as the nation’s most digitally connected city,” according to the job posting supplied to BostInno.
“Expectations are changing among citizens. People are expecting to be able to purchase anything with the click of a button. And they expect the same from their government,” Lockwood continued.
Specifically, Lockwood talked about three verticals ripe for improvement: How City Hall communicates with citizens, how citizens transact with the government and how the government engages with its citizens. A focus, said Lockwood, will be “making communication two-way rather than one-way.”
Just this week, the Office of New Urban Mechanics, an entity of City Hall, said Boston is working on a program that will allow citizens to refill their parking meters using their phones – an initiative already in the works in Somerville and one that Lockwood will play a key role in advancing.
“It doesn’t serve anybody well to be wasting everybody’s time,” she said.
Heightened efficiency between City Hall and residents seems to be a prime motivator behind the chief digital officer role — greater two-way communication between the two being key to that vision’s success.
“Tweet at us,” Lockwood said. “We’ll listen.”