New York City Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño is parting from government service, but he says his career working on technology projects that improve urban life is about to take an interesting turn.
In an interview with StateScoop on Tuesday, Gamiño announced that he will leave his position at the Mayor’s Office of Chief Technology Officer with plans of a new project centered around “a people-centric approach to civic technology” that he’s not quite ready to announce.
“What’s special about this work is that it’s super people-centric and we’re including the concept of culture and that it’s going to be shared with cities around the world,” Gamiño said of his mysterious new venture.
In the meantime, Gamiño will stay with the city for a few more weeks, tying up loose ends as the administration of Bill de Blasio continues onward.
In 2003, Gamiño founded and led Varay, a cloud services provider, and in 2007 co-founded Sonisa, another IT services company. Gamiño has served in C-level technology roles at El Paso, Texas, his hometown, San Francisco, and New York City.
Gamiño’s nearly two years in New York City caps eight years of government service that he says was originally intended as a sabbatical from his time in the startup world. Now that his tour of duty is complete, he intends to draw on his experience and bridge the public and private sectors.
“It’s not just listening to the community, but actually understanding the culture of the community and making that a core part of the technology thinking that we’re doing,” Gamiño said.
In New York City, Gamiño’s office is credited with leading a wide array of technology projects like a broadband initiative aimed at bringing new connectivity to residents, Internet of Things projects designed to make it easier for residents to access services and to improve government awareness, and NYCx, the city’s pipeline for bringing new ideas from the civic tech world to government.
Gamiño said achievements under NYCx were particularly memorable, such as a milestone in January when the city filled a Technology Leadership Advisory Council with 22 members. And more recently, one of NYCx’s challenges concluded with participants sharing their wireless connectivity projects at a showcase on Governors Island, a 172-acre island off the southern tip of Manhattan.
“It felt like we had really put that flag in the ground that all of the vision had come to a tangible reality,” Gamiño said of the moment when their solutions were unveiled.
Gamiño said he also felt particularly proud to serve under an administration that acted as a national leader in the fight against the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules.
The mayor’s office has not yet announced its plans for the Mayor’s Office of Chief Technology Officer after Gamiño’s departure.
“I really want to thank not just Mayor de Blasio, but frankly every mayor I’ve worked for and every city I’ve worked in, because it’s really shaped who I’ve become,” Gamiño said. “And to have the opportunity to have worked for my hometown, to work in the center of tech, and the center of the world in the biggest city in the country, that is a phenomenal life experience that I couldn’t have imagined any better.”