NEW YORK: An eminent Indian-American digital media expert has been named by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as the city’s new Chief Digital Officer to focus on promoting access to local government through technology and support the its tech ecosystem.
Sree Sreenivasan has previously served as the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first Chief Digital Officer as well as at Columbia University.
He has also been a mayoral appointee on the Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) since October 2015, where he assisted the public in obtaining access to city information and helped develop strategies for the use of new communications technologies to improve access to, and distribution of city data, the mayor’s office said in a statement yesterday.
In his new role, Sreenivasan will work to increase access to city-led technology initiatives, focus on outreach to the tech community and direct citywide digital policy.
He will also direct the Office of Digital Strategy (NYC Digital) to launch digital products that encourage civic engagement, increase government transparency, and support New York City’s thriving tech ecosystem.
“To move our city’s digital ecosystem into the 21st century, we need to ensure our city’s resources are at the fingertips of every New Yorker. With Sree Sreenivasan’s wealth of experience, I am confident that he will work to promote transparency, access, and progressive values with our digital tools, helping spread access across the five boroughs,” de Blasio said.
Terming his appointment as an “honour”, Sreenivasan, who is currently on a social media speaking tour across India, said there are many opportunities to extend the Mayor’s Digital Playbook, collaborate closely across various sectors and help bring more startups here.
Prior to his work at City Hall, Sreenivasan served for three years at the Metropolitan Museum, where he led a 70-person team to increase the museum’s digital presence. Before that he spent 20 years as a member of faculty of the Columbia Journalism School and a year as Columbia University’s first Chief Digital Officer.
An immigrant from India, Sreenivasan was born in Japan and received a Bachelor’s degree in History from St Stephen’s College in Delhi.