Vancouver City Hall | BCBusiness

Vancouver City Hall | BCBusiness
The new chief digital officer will report to city manager Penny Ballem

Following New York's lead, Vancouver is hiring a digital honcho to lead its digital strategy


The City of Vancouver is hiring a chief digital officer to execute it's months-old digital strategy, and coordinate digital initiatives.

Vancouver city council approved a $30 million four-year digital strategy in April, intended to enhance digital communications between residents, businesses and municipal officials and services. 

The plan outlined nine strategic priorities including an incubation program for tech startups, telecommunications upgrades and mobile-accessible city services. 

Interested? The city looking for someone with experience executing, "complex and transformational projects for large organizations," and an extensive understanding of digital technologies.

Businesses can look forward to digital permitting and licensing and revised zoning bylaws that will make it easier for tech companies to pick an office space and adapt to it to their needs, says Joan Elangovan, acting CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission.

"We're one of only a handful of cities across the world that has launched a digital strategy," says Bill Tam, president and CEO of the B.C. Technology Industry Association. "Having someone in the role of chief digital officer further reinforces the commitment to implementing this vision across the city."

The city's new hire will be one of the first of their kind in the world, but follows in the foot steps of New York's 29 year-old Chief Digital Officer and media darling Rachel Haot. 

Haot has led the charge in extending the city's social media outreach and expanding city-subsidized free WiFi in parks and subways. Similar initiatives will fall under the purview of Vancouver's new chief digital officer.