Sree Sreenivasan has been appointed as the Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, where he will work to promote access to City government through technology and support the city’s tech ecosystem.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sree Sreenivasan as the City’s new Chief Digital Officer on August 1st. Sreenivasan has served as the first Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the first Chief Digital Officer of Columbia University, and 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. As Chief Digital Officer, 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 begin his new role this fall.
“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,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“It’s a real honor for me to serve as the CDO of the world’s greatest city,” said Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan. “There are so many opportunities to extend the Mayor’s Digital Playbook, collaborate closely across various sectors and help bring more startups here. I will draw on what I’ve learned working in four critical NYC industries: education, media, arts and culture, and nonprofits, and look forward to building on the great work of my predecessor Jessica Singleton and her predecessor, Rachel Haot.”
In his new role, Sreenivasan will 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. The Chief Digital Officer reports to the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen.
Prior to his work at City Hall, Sreenivasan served for three years as the first Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he led a 70-person team to increase the museum’s digital presence. In October 2015, he was appointed by Mayor de Blasio to the Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC), where he worked to increase access to, and education about, City information online. Before his work at the Met, 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. He was a founding member and contributing editor at neighborhood news site DNAinfo, and throughout his career, he has written for various publications, including the New York Times, and was a popular technology reporter on WABC-TV, WNBC-TV and WCBS-TV.
An immigrant from India, Sreenivasan was born in Japan and lived in Bhutan, the former Soviet Union, New York City, Myanmar, India and Fiji before receiving a Bachelor’s degree in History from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and receiving a Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1993. He is a proud graduate of P.S. 6 in Manhattan and also attended St. Joseph’s of Yorkville. He and his wife, Roopa Unnikrishnan, a Rhodes Scholar and innovation consultant, live in Manhattan and are parents of twins who study in a NYC public school.
Sreenivasan replaces Jessica Singleton, who stepped down last month, according to govtech.com, to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. Days after he had to resign from his $328,900-a-year job at Met, Sreenivasan described in an interview to Quartz magazine how he pulled off turning “a public firing into a masterpiece of personal branding” —and how his methods might work. “He demonstrated a deft, natural mastery of his medium, social media, and gave his network the ammo they would need to help him out of his predicament,” the magazine wrote.
The City of New York is dedicated to improving engagement with residents and businesses by developing tools that will enhance government transparency, improve delivery of City services, and promote civic engagement. The Office of Digital Strategy (NYC Digital) works closely with the Mayor’s Office of Operations, Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYC Law Department, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, NYC & Co, Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, Department of Small Business Services, and the Mayor’s Communication’s Office to help develop forward-thinking policies and usage for digital tools to better serve the public and support the growth of New York City’s tech ecosystem.