New York CTO John Paul Farmer announces release

Written by Ryan Johnston

New York City Technical Director John Paul Farmer announced in an email Thursday that he plans to step down from city government after the New Year, when Eric Adams takes the oath of office as mayor.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Farmer in April 2019 to be the city’s third technical director. Previously, Farmer had held technology leadership roles at Microsoft and the White House, where he helped develop the Presidential Innovation Fellows program under former President Barack Obama.

During Farmer’s tenure, New York developed long-term strategies to boost broadband connectivity, regulate artificial intelligence and Internet-connected infrastructure, and launched a series of ‘moonshot’ initiatives to address the most common issues. urgent needs of the city thanks to technology. Farmer also led an initiative to hire 14 ‘Pandemic Innovation Fellows’ who helped the city develop a broadband mapping initiative, machine learning powered translation service and a data dashboard that follows hate crimes across town.

“When I accepted this appointment by Mayor Bill de Blasio, I had bold goals with me to put the city on the path to universal broadband, attract the best technological talents in the public service, introduce the best digital services , tackle tough problems through moonshot-type thinking and develop strategies around key emerging technologies that grow the economy and protect the digital rights of people in an increasingly digital world, ”Farmer wrote in his farewell email.

Adams this week named Matt Fraser, chief information officer for the New York Police Department, as the city’s next CTO. Fraser currently occupies a position previously held by Jessica Tisch, now the city’s chief information officer and head of the telecommunications and information technology department. Fraser told City & State New York that his role as CTO will likely be different from Farmer’s, suggesting that all of the city’s tech agencies, including DoITT, will report to him.

In his email, Farmer wrote that he and Fraser will spend the next few weeks working together to ensure a smooth transition to the Mayor’s office of the CTO. “After that, I will encourage their success,” Farmer wrote.

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