Yesterday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Los Angeles native Peter Marx as the city’s very first Chief Innovation Technology Officer. Appointing the former Qualcomm Labs VP to implement and oversee new tools and technologies across the city’s government is one of many ways the mayor is working to make City Hall work more efficiently and effectively for residents. In addition, Marx will partner with Los Angeles’ growing tech industry to promote local job creation and deploy innovative technology, something Garcetti has been already actively involved with.
After being elected in May 2013, the mayor laid out his “back to basics agenda” that would help strengthen the local economy and create a more effective city government. Part of those plans for his first 100 days in office included a new website – www.lamayor.org/performance – detailing performance metrics tracking the city’s progress toward key priorities. Garcetti would later issue an executive directive (December 19, 2013) to have all city agencies take part in a new Open Data Initiative and make all the information collected by them public to boost the effectiveness of the new site.
“Opening government data to entrepreneurs and businesses promotes innovation by putting that information to work in ways outside the expertise of government institutions and gives companies, individuals and nonprofit organizations the opportunity to leverage one of government's greatest assets: public information,” said Garcetti in a report by GovTech.com. “It fosters creative new thinking about solving our most intractable challenges through public-private partnerships and promoting a culture of data sharing.”
In November, Garcetti delivered the keynote address at the first LA Tech Summit, a one-day event at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica that brought together some of the industry’s leading executives, entrepreneurs and experts to share their insight on what it takes to build a successful technology company in Los Angeles.
Speaking on the mayor’s participation at the event – and in the city’s greater tech ecosystem – Cornerstone OnDemand founder and CEO Adam Miller said: “Los Angeles is swiftly developing as a thriving center for entrepreneurship and technology startups, and Mayor Garcetti, better than most politicians, understands the importance of a strong tech industry to the region’s future.”
Following in Garcetti’s lead, Marx will work in the Mayor’s Office as a technology coordinator, strategist and advisor across city organizations. Among his first projects will be improving and revamping the city’s various websites, including MyLA311, to make them more useful and user friendly. Additionally he’ll look to capitalize on sharing and analyzing data to upgrade performance throughout city government in the same way the LAPD’s Compstat system has been used to drive down crime.
“Incredibly talented, a force in the tech community and an LA native, Peter was my top choice from a very strong pool of applicants," said Garcetti. “I'm thrilled to have him on the team and look forward to working with him to better serve Angelenos and foster the already strong tech ecosystem here. Harnessing technology is critical to the future of our economy and improving city services.”
Marx comes from an extensive background of technology leadership and oversight, most recently as VP of business development at Qualcomm, where he commercialized a variety of emerging technologies. Prior to that he was VP of the Technology and Digital Studio at Mattel Inc. in El Segundo. Early in his career, Marx served as an engineer on a variety of telemedicine, digital video, radiological imaging, and biomedicine applications for UCLA and 3M Company. In addition to his new role with the city, Marx is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.