The City and County of San Francisco has named Cyd Harrell as its new Chief Digital Services Officer.
She will oversee San Francisco Digital Services, a city agency focused on working with departments to improve service design.
“Cyd’s wealth of experience in government technology and user-centred design will help us strengthen and transform how we connect services directly to people,” said City Administrator Carmen Chu.
Harrell described the role as her “dream job”. She is taking over from Carrie Bishop, who held the position since 2017 and was the first person to do so.
Since the Digital Services office was created, the team has redesigned city services in areas such as affordable housing, economic recovery and permitting, and launched SF.gov, a ‘one-stop shop’ website for city services.
Harrell has previously worked as Lead Researcher with the Center for Civic Design, Product Director for Code for America, and Chief of Staff of 18F, the internal technology and design consultancy of the federal government.
Most recently, she served as Service Design Lead with the Judicial Council of California. Harrell is also the author of the 2020 book A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide.
“San Francisco deserves public digital goods that reach the highest level of quality and that open up more ways for all of us to exercise rights, access services, and participate in community,” said Harrell. “As a user and fan of Digital Services’ work, especially their pandemic data and vaccine work, I’m incredibly honoured to join the team and build the next stage of beautiful, inclusive services for San Franciscans together.”
During the pandemic, the Digital Services team built over 250 information pages related to COVID on the SF.gov site. The team also led on moving city services such as building and business permits and grant applications online. When the COVID vaccine first became available, they launched a vaccine finder showing real-time appointments.
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