Philadelphia to get CIO
- By Nicholas Morehead
- May 17, 2001
Philadelphia officials announced recently that the city has joined the growing
number of municipal governments in creating the position of chief information
Dianah Neff, former CIO and deputy city manager of San Diego, will take
over Philadelphia's CIO position, which comes with cabinet-level status.
"The opportunity was one where I could really bring my past experience to
the forefront," Neff said. "Mayor [John] Street wants a citywide IT strategic
plan. He wants to make this post cabinet-level, and he really wants to address
governance issues such as neighborhood development, the digital divide and
e-governance. He really wants technology to be a main part of these."
Neff said her many past experiences made her right for the Philadelphia
position, in particular her work on San Diego's Digital Cities initiative
under former Mayor Susan Golding.
Howard Stapleton, the acting CIO for San Diego, said Philadelphia will gain
from the move because "Philadelphia has further to go than most West Coast
"They're going to benefit from getting someone like Dianah, who has such
experience with the strategic planning if IT departments," he said.
According to recommendations from Street's information technology transition team, the CIO will report
directly to the mayor and provide technical guidance to the newly formed
Information Technology Governance Committee.
The ITGC's cabinet-level officials responsible for reviewing projects,
determining priorities, allocating IT funds and setting citywide IT standards
will be complemented by CIOs from other agencies.
"What we're trying to do with this is leverage the best of both words
the centralized and the decentralized," Neff said. "With the numerous
organizations and agencies involved, we have the openness and plurality
of a decentralized system but also the cost-effectiveness of a centralized