At the end of this month, Boston’s Chief Information Officer, Jascha Franklin-Hodge, will step down from his role after three and a half years. Franklin-Hodge has been a close friend and collaborator of BARI’s, helping guide us behind the scenes and participating in BARI projects like “Making ‘Smart Cities’ Smarter,” so we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate all he has accomplished during his tenure at City Hall.
Franklin-Hodge started in July 2014, coming from his digital strategy company, Blue State Digital. Chief Information Officer was his first foray into public service, and he hit the ground running with a long list of plans and ideas. A month into his tenure, Boston Magazine featured an article about the Boston newcomer, “just a month into his job, Franklin-Hodge has already hosted Boston’s first hackathon, and has plans to relaunch the City Hall website and expand WiFi and broadband access. He’s also been tasked with implementing the mayor’s open-data policy, which encourages city departments to provide their data sets to researchers, software developers, and the public.”
In the three and half years since he hasn’t slowed down, so we asked Franklin-Hodge to name three of his proudest accomplishments while serving as CIO, and here’s what he had to say, in his own words:
– Starting the Citywide Analytics Team to use data analysis to improve quality of life and the effectiveness of City government.
– Launching boston.gov, so that Boston residents have an accessible, well-designed, human-centered place to access services and information.
– A lot of behind the scenes work to make the City’s technology infrastructure more modern, resilient, and secure. It’s work that (hopefully) the public never sees or has reason to think about.
In a recent feature of his tenure on GovTech, Franklin-Hodge explains “I came into the job with a long list of ideas and things that I thought we could accomplish. We’ve accomplished many of them. I’d be lying if I said we hit 100 percent. But I think it’s time for somebody new with their own list of ideas and their own passion and their own energy to come and take on this leadership role.”
As he prepares to leave City Hall at the end of January, Franklin-Hodge shared some words of wisdom with us:
“This was my first public sector job. I’ve been blown away by the people I got to work with who have devoted their careers to making Boston the best City it can be. I wish everyone had the chance to this kind of dedication up close. It’s given me an education in public service and a deep appreciation for the folks who keep the City working every day.”