California governor appoints new data and innovation director

The California Office of Data and Innovation, created only in 2022, has a new director after the recent departure of its former leader.
California Governor Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Patrick T. Fallon / Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday appointed Jeff Marino, who most recently served as deputy director for strategy at the California Office of Data and Innovation, as the young office’s newest director.

Marino replaces Jared Johnson, who’d been serving as interim director after the departure of the agency’s previous director, Nolwenn Godard. Marino has also worked in several other roles at the data office since joining in 2020, including jobs related to service innovation, products and consultants and data insights. He’s now tasked with leading the Office of Data and Innovation, which was created to help state agencies execute one-time technology projects.

One way the California Office of Data and Innovation has improved digital services is through the Data Innovation Fund, an incubator to support state agencies using of data science and other information technologies to improve their digital services. During the fund’s application period, state government offices can submit proposals to receive funding for projects that fall within three categories: innovation sprints; business process reengineering; and content and user experience design.

The office was created in 2022 through the merger of CalData, the state’s former data analytics bureau, with the Office of Digital Innovation, its digital services agency.


Before joining the state government, Marino worked as a data journalist and digital marketing consultant for a variety of publications and technology companies, including the real estate company Opendoor, the Los Angeles Times and the Boulevard Sentinel.

Marino’s new position requires confirmation from the California State Senate.

Sophia Fox-Sowell

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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