DC CTO Archana Vemulapalli resigning to work in private sector
UPDATE: This story has been updated with details on Vemulapalli's next career move.
- Washington, D.C.'s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) announced via Twitter on Tuesday that CTO Archana Vemulapalli will resign, effective Jan. 5, 2018.
This am, @dccto Archana Vemulapalli shared her resignation w/ staff effective Jan 5, 2018. Under her leadership, OCTO was recognized for #SmarterDC efforts, improved IT solutions & leading innovative cost-saving and data driven projects to improve resident services. Best wishes! pic.twitter.com/1TF2TKkz8G— OCTO (@OCTODC) November 28, 2017
- Since being appointed to the position in January 2016, Vemulapalli's leadership has been pivotal in a number of tech-focused initiatives, including progressing Smarter DC. Projects under her leadership include a smart waste management pilot, increased public Wi-Fi and computer access, and OCTOSpeaks.
- In an interview with StateScoop, Vemulapalli said she will transition to a job in the private sector. "I've been in technology all of my life and that's been the one constant, so I intend to stay in technology ... I'm just trying to figure out what I want to do next," she said. It is currently unclear who will fill the CTO position.
While it is hard to speculate where exactly Vemulapalli's career will take her in the private sector, it would be fitting for her to stay in the smart city space due to her current, well-known reputation across the industry. Vemulapalli has sat on a number of smart city panels in the last two years, has spearheaded a number of initiatives for other cities to mimic, and has become a role model for other female leaders in the tech space.
In a recent interview with Smart Cities Dive, Vemulapalli touted OCTO's successes, saying, "I think other cities should emulate us." She went on to explain, "We [OCTO] use the idea of smart cities and the excitement around smart cities to help move us as a collective group of agencies supporting the city in one direction. We are all doing great things ... Let’s take all the great work and then let’s look at how we can efficiently hit even greater goals by being much more smart on how we leverage technology and how we use those insights in meaningful way.”
As with any change in leadership, OCTO and fellow D.C. leaders will need to prepare for a smooth transition following Vemulapalli's leave to ensure that projects do not lose focus and budgets do not go to waste. In order to do this, Vemulapalli's team will likely need to re-address priorities and re-delegate some tasks, all before welcoming a new CTO to continue pushing D.C. forward.
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