LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed a chief data officer Aug. 20.
"I'm pleased that Abhi Nemani is joining my team to manage the collection of data citywide and create tools to use data that will help solve everyday challenges for our residents," Garcetti said.
Nemani will spearhead Garcetti's efforts "to build a data-driven culture of innovation and excellence in city government," Garcetti said.
He will also work with city departments to collect and analyze data and will lead the operation of the city's new open-data portal.
The mayor has been criticized in local press reports for the ineffectiveness of the website he created following a directive issued in December 2013. The aim was to promote transparency and accountability in the city by making publicly available raw data in easy-to-find and accessible formats, according to the directive. Open Data is raw data generated or collected by government agencies made freely available for use by the public, subject only to valid privacy, confidentiality, security, and other legal restrictions. Previously, Nemani served as co-Executive Director of the non-profit Code for America, a technology organization dedicated to reinventing government for the 21st century. "Data has the power to transform the daily lives of Los Angeles residents and visitors," Nemani said.
The website will provide data on a wide variety of subject areas from information on how tax money is spent, to the availability of parking spaces and event listings. "Mayor Garcetti is committed to opening city data for innovators and users everywhere, and I'm thrilled to join his team to help him get there," Nemani said. Nemani will join the mayor's Office of Budget and Innovation, a department headed by Deputy Mayor Rick Cole. He will work closely with Chief Technology Officer Steve Reneker, Chief Innovation Technology Officer Peter Marx, and the Mayor's Innovation Performance Technology Unit.
He starts work Sept. 2.