New York City names entrepreneur, inventor as first CTO

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As New York City continues to build its technology leadership team, Minerva Tantoco, a noted technology entrepreneur and holder of four patents in artificial intelligence and workflow systems, was named the city’s first chief technology officer Tuesday.

Tantoco will direct the Office of Technology and Innovation and be responsible for the development and implementation of a citywide strategy focused on collaboration among agencies and finding ways to encourage New York’s thriving technology scene to participate in government.

“Our City’s digital infrastructure should reflect the 21st century innovation hub we want New York City to be,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who announced the hire at the 10th anniversary NY Tech Meetup, in a statement. “With the appointment of Minerva Tantoco as the City’s first Chief Technology Officer, we are moving one major step towards the creation of a modern government that connects City agencies to the best ideas and brightest people to streamline the delivery of government services, and increase transparency.”

#NYC‘s first CTO Minerva Tantoco with @BilldeBlasio and @Rasiej at #NYTM pic.twitter.com/4uUUEARCxq

— Rob Millis (@robmillis) September 10, 2014

A native New Yorker, Tantoco first made her mark in Silicon Valley as one of the co-founders of Manageware, a company successfully sold five years later.

Since then, she has focused on emerging technology initiatives, including artificial intelligence, e-commerce, virtualization, online marketing and mobile applications.

She worked as a senior product manager at Palm, where she was a pioneer in mobile enterprise solutions, and then went on to serve as the chief architect at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. There she led the re-design and implementation of the company’s investment banking data warehouse.

Tantoco most recently served as UBS APAC CTO for client-facing technology and innovation, with regional responsibility for the Asia Pacific region. This will be her first public sector job.

“I have dedicated my career to creating and deploying forward-thinking, innovative technology,” Tantoco said. “There is a great opportunity in New York City for government and the tech community to work together to challenge the status quo and improve people’s lives.”

Tantoco took to Twitter to ask for ways to make the city better with technology.

As the first-ever CTO of NYC, join me! Make it the most innovation-driven city in the world. Provide your ideas via Twitter #forwardnyc

— Minerva (@minervatweet) September 10, 2014


Tantoco joins Anne Roest, the commissioner of New York’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, atop de Blasio’s technology leadership in the city.

After going several months of his administration without naming a technology leader, de Blasio named Roest, a technology veteran who previously worked for the state of New York, to serve as the city CIO in May.

“I am thrilled to have Minerva, a seasoned technologist with a great eye towards innovation, joining the City’s tech team to help us advance the Mayor’s ambitious technology agenda,” Roest said. “As the central technology services agency, DoITT helps government improve the availability and efficiency of key public services, and we look forward to collaborating with Minerva and her team to execute key IT initiatives that leverage our vast technology infrastructure and expertise.  I look forward to partnering with Minerva and the city’s technology sector to develop strategies that drive innovation and keep NYC’s place as a 21st Century city.”

For more insight into Tantoco, check out this interview she did last year with Forbes and this 2012 interview with The Glass Hammer.

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Anne Roest, Bill de Blasio, Minerva Tantoco, New York, States
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