Civic News

New York CTO Miguel Gamino says he’s leaving government

The CTO will start up his own civic-tech project, but details are few.

Miguel Gamiño Jr. will step down as New York’s CTO.

He would not say what his next job will be, only that he will be leading it and it will be in civic tech generally.

“As it stands now, what I can share is that I’m off to do my next thing — still in this civic-tech space but from outside the government,” Gamiño told by phone Thursday.

In his nearly two years as CTO, Gamiño has worked on increasing broadband internet access for all New Yorkers and started the NYCx program. This initiative offers a small amount of prize money and support for startups to solve specific neighborhood problems. (For one challenge, three finalists will receive up to $25,000 each; in another, winning teams receive up to $20,000 in funding.) Two out of the first three challenges are in Brownsville, one of which is called Safe and Thriving Nighttime Corridors. It’s looking for startups to work on enhancing the experience of public space at night in Brownsville, specifically in Osborn Plaza, the Belmont Avenue Business Corridor and Rockaway Avenue. The program also has a “moonshot” challenge, using Governor’s Island as a “greenfield testing ground for how to deploy the next generation of wireless connectivity technologies at the quickest speeds and lowest cost possible.”

Gamiño’s career has included government positions in San Francisco and El Paso, Texas, prior to New York.

“I came into this public service part of my life not expecting it to last this long,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about how important this work is and how purposeful this work feels to leverage technology.”

We asked if he has any advice for the person who comes next into the CTO role.

“My advice is not even specific to whoever follows but to civic technologists anywhere. It is to maintain focus on the people side of it,” he said. “The inclusivity and equity piece is huge. There’s talk that’s pretty popular about inclusivity but doing it in real time is not easy. … It’s super important we use this technology to serve people.”

Gamiño will stay on for the next several weeks as CTO to tie up projects while the city looks for a replacement.

Series: Brooklyn

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