Mayor Announces Restructuring of Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Kenney today accepted the resignation of Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski, effective January 1st, 2019, and announced a restructuring of the Office of Open Data & Digital Transformation (ODDT), of which Wisniewski is Director.

“Tim has deservedly received national recognition for his work for the City, and I’m truly sorry to see him move on,” said Mayor Kenney.  “Tim made enormous contributions to both the Open Data initiative and the digital transformation of — both of which are enormously important to my Administration.  I wish him the best.”

Under the restructuring of ODDT, the Mayor announced that the open data program will return to the Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT), headed by CIO Mark Wheeler.  The digital transformation work of ODDT will continue under the direction of Deputy Director Liana Dragoman, who has been named Interim Director of ODDT.

“While we will truly miss Tim’s talent, dedication and vision, I know he built great teams so that this vital work will continue without missing a beat,” said Chief Administrative Officer Christine Derenick-Lopez, whose cabinet includes both ODDT and OIT.  “Tim’s decision is a perfect opportunity to re-align the two units that have been under his leadership, and I know these vital initiatives are in good hands under Mark and Liana.”

As Chief Data Officer, Wisniewski and his team have helped City departments release more than 200 open data sets and increase transparency around city contracts, property records, police interactions, 311 calls and the city budget — including the landmark release of city employee salaries.  In May 2016, Wisniewski’s role expanded to build the new Office of Open Data & Digital Transformation, a team of design, development, and content professionals inside government. In this capacity Wisniewski oversaw the launch of the new, part of a massive ongoing effort to make City services easier to find and use.

“January marks my 7th year with the City, and it’s been a privilege to be part of modernising the way government builds technology, integrating content strategy and human-centered design,” said Wisniewski. “I’m incredibly proud of the talented multi-disciplinary team we’ve assembled and excited about how their work will grow under Liana’s leadership.”

CIO Mark Wheeler — himself a key architect of the open data program — will oversee Open Data as he hires a new Chief Data Officer.  Moreover, the new CDO will have an expanded role including open data, analytics, and geographic information services (GIS), as well as data infrastructure. This portfolio will give the new CDO the resources needed to take the City of Philadelphia to the next level of being a data-driven city.

“Tim Wisniewski and the Open Data team have been great collaborators with OIT and all departments releasing data,” said Wheeler.  “Open data has added incredible value to City operations and have supported the Mayor’s key initiatives, and I look forward to overseeing the work as we conduct a national search for a new Chief Data Officer.”

Beyond public releases, open data has become deeply integrated into city operations. Key tools used by departments such as the Litter Index, Community Schools Stress Index, Vacant Property Indicators, and Atlas are all powered by the same open data provided to the public.

Interim Director of Digital Transformation Liana Dragoman  is a service design strategist and design researcher with over eighteen years of diverse design experience in the public, non-profit, and private sectors.  With the City, she has served as the Deputy Director and Service Design Practice Lead, spearheading the first service design practice in Philadelphia City government, with the Office of Homeless Services.  Dragoman will now oversee the City’s digital transformation work, which includes the initiative that saw a major milestone this past August with the conclusion of the “beta” development.

“Several years ago the digital transformation team at the City started as an idea,” said Dragoman. “Thanks to the commitment and dedication of Tim and team members, the digital transformation group today reflects a modern, strategic digital consultancy that strives to better connect the public to effective government services. We’ll greatly miss Tim’s leadership, but what we built together as a team is an exciting future.”