New CTO has history of government work

John Paul Farmer.
John Paul Farmer.
@johnpaulfarmer/Twitter
John Paul Farmer.

New CTO has history of government work

Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed former Microsoft executive and Obama adviser, John Paul Farmer, to the post of chief technology officer.
April 25, 2019

One of New York City’s long-vacant government positions has been filled: Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed former Microsoft executive and Obama adviser, John Paul Farmer, to the post of chief technology officer. Farmer will take over from interim CTO Alby Bocanegra on June 3.

Government work won’t be totally alien to Farmer. While the majority of his career has been spent in the private sector, most recently as the director of technology and civic innovation at Microsoft, Farmer’s resume has been marked by collaboration with – and work in – the public sector. At Microsoft, Farmer and de Blasio worked together on the Tech Jobs Academy, a program designed to close the tech skills gap. As a senior adviser to the Obama administration, Farmer created Presidential Innovation Fellows, a program that brings innovators from the private sector, nonprofits and academia to work on projects in federal agencies. The program would have expired when Obama left office in 2017, but a bill to extend the program passed at the last minute, making it the last bill Obama signed – and his last official action – in the Oval Office. Other resume highlights include a brief stint as a shortstop in the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers minor league systems.

These credentials – save the minor leagues, perhaps – will no doubt aid Farmer as he attempts to make tech, broadband, and other digital services more accessible to all New Yorkers.

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated who is qualified to apply for the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which has no age restrictions.

Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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