Civic

Mar. 20, 2014 12:00 pm

Chief Data Officer Mark Headd to step down in April

"Philly’s open data effort has always been bigger than any one person – it’s always been about the community. It’s now time for me to rejoin that community," Headd wrote.

Photo by Terry Robinson via P'unk Ave.

About a year and a half after he was appointed as Philadephia’s first Chief Data Officer, Mark Headd will step down from his position, he announced on his blog this morning.

Headd didn’t reveal much in the post, other than that he would stay in Philadelphia and remain active in its (and other) tech scenes.

Philly’s open data effort has always been bigger than any one person – it’s always been about the community. It’s now time for me to rejoin that community.

A constant presence at hackathons and other civic hacking and technology events (both before and after he was appointed), Headd led the city’s open data efforts since the fall of 2012. His position evolved from advocating for open data releases and creating policies around them to managing a 15-person staff. He once likened his job to a psychiatrist, one that had to help government officials understand the importance of open data.

Since Headd joined City Hall, the spirit of innovation has caught on. Most recently, the City of Philadelphia launched a program to send 19 of its staffers to an innovation course at Philadelphia University. Still, with many controversial data sets still on the city’s release calendar, it’ll be interesting to see what happens without Headd at the helm.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technical.ly Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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  • fwd8

    Mark has done a great job leading the charge for open data in Philadelphia, an extraordinarily difficult job for a city which had been lacking in good IT management and a culture of transparency.

    Here’s hoping the push for open data will continue (especially for L&I and BRT!)