Less than a month before a new mayor takes the reins in Philadelphia, the city’s chief innovation officer announced his resignation Wednesday.
Adel Ebeid, who presided over the city’s Office of Innovation and Technology, said in a statement that he was proud of what the city had accomplished during his time.
“I feel extremely proud of what the team has been able to accomplish over the last four years,” Ebeid said. “From day one, we focused on building an organization that can sustain change in the future, and I’m proud to leave behind a team who will continue to drive the technology modernization agenda.”
Ebeid will leave city service and move to the private sector Jan 11, joining Green Diamond Solutions — a government sustainability consultancy — as its president for innovation and technology.
Ebeid joined Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration in August 2011 as the city’s first chief innovation officer. Prior to working with the city, Ebeid was New Jersey’s chief technology officer.
Most recently, Ebeid was a lead negotiator in Philadelphia’s cable franchise agreement with Comcast, which took eight months to resolve.
“Adel Ebeid has done a masterful job in helping move the city to the front lines of innovation,” Nutter said in a statement. “He has provided vital leadership in building a strong technology organization, attracting top talent from the public, private and local tech communities, filling critical positions in OIT and modernizing the city’s technology infrastructure.”
Ebeid also was behind the city’s 2015 push to the cloud — in March, he told StateScoop that cloud computing would relieve the department’s staff from the task of managing legacy systems and allow his team to focus on promoting innovative ways to operate the city’s information technology shop.
And his team has done just that — earlier this year, Philadelphia’s senior data scientist Lauren Ancona worked with federal digital services agency 18F to launch an analytics dashboard for the city’s websites. Ancona told StateScoop that the effort would not have been possible without Ebeid.
“We’re pretty lucky to be working with the folks that are here,” Ancona said. Ebeid “is most responsible for embracing technology, and getting the team together. He’s been pretty dedicated to hiring the right people, and then just getting out of the way, which is a skill that managers everywhere, not just in government, could probably learn.”
After his 2015 election win, Democrat Jim Kenney will be inaugurated as Philadelphia’s mayor on Jan. 5. Kenney announced Tuesday that he would appoint Stephanie Waters to serve as the city’s first digital director. Waters served as Kenney’s digital director on the campaign, and has previously worked with gubernatorial campaigns in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
The news of Ebeid’s resignation comes less than a month after the resignation of the city’s Managing Director and Deputy Mayor for Administration and Coordination Rich Negrin. Negrin and Ebeid led the creation of the city’s Innovation Lab and Innovation Academy. He also launched the city’s cloud-based and mobile-enabled Philly311 system with Salesforce.