Boston hires first chief digital officer

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh named Lauren Lockwood, a recent Harvard Business School graduate and project manager at Boston startup HourlyNerd, as the city’s first chief digital officer.

Boston has named Lauren Lockwood, a recent Harvard Business School graduate and project manager at Boston startup HourlyNerd, as the city’s first chief digital officer, Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Tuesday.

In her role, Lockwood will be responsible for transforming how citizens interact with government through digital media, digital services and digital engagement along with finding ways to unite the city’s digital assets.

“Using digital solutions to drive efficiency in government is a cornerstone of my administration,” Walsh said in a release. “The chief digital officer will enhance the way we are communicating and doing business with residents online, making us a better, more responsive government.”

Lockwood will work out of Boston’s Department of Innovation & Technology and report to Jascha Franklin-Hodge, the city’s chief information officer. Franklin-Hodge himself is relatively new to city government. He joined Boston this past July after a career as a successful entrepreneur, cofounding a company that helped power the digital presence of President Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns.


Lockwood, 28, most recently worked at HourlyNerd where businesses can hire MBA students and graduates as part-time consultants. Lockwood received her MBA from Harvard Business School this year and holds a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. Previously, she worked as an analyst at investment banking firm, Morgan Stanley, implementing strategic information technology processes.

“The chief digital officer will reboot the digital face of Boston – how we communicate, how we deliver services, and how we engage through digital channels,” Franklin-Hodge said. “Lockwood has a strong track record of innovating solutions, and implementing them.”

Added Lockwood, “Boston has a national reputation for its delivery of digital services. I’m thrilled to be a part of the team that takes the existing foundation to the next level.”

As CDO, Lockwood will take a full inventory of Boston’s digital assets and find new ways to connect citizens to their government using convenient digital channels. These assets include the website; the city’s cable television station; online transactions with the city, such as paying parking tickets and reporting potholes; and social media channels.

Boston is the latest major city to entrust its digital efforts to someone yet to turn 30. Rachel Haot was 27 when former Mayor Michael Bloomberg named her New York City’s chief digital officer in 2011, and she helped lead the city’s digital transformation. She now is doing the same in a similar role for New York state.


Earlier this year, Philadelphia named 26-year-old Tim Wisniewski its chief data officer. He’s been working with city departments to enhance open government and civic engagement by publishing government data online.

These young hires, in part, show the faith that city leaders have in the entrepreneurial community to help bring fresh ideas for technology into their cities with the hopes of finding new ways to connect with citizens.

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