- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped Kelly Jin to be the city’s Chief Analytics Officer, filling a role that has been vacant for more than a year and a half.
- In the role, Jin will lead the city’s data office and apply analytics to improve city functions and increase transparency. Jin will also be in charge of the Open Data program, which offers city-collected data to the public.
- Jin comes to the position after working as director of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation’s Data-Driven Justice program, and previously working as a policy advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith under former President Barack Obama. Before the White House, Jin had held a data analytics position for the city of Boston, according to her biography.
Under de Blasio and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City has made data analytics a key part of civic function. The city’s Open Data project, building on a policy passed in 2012, now contains more than 2,000 datasets on everything from taxi trips to dog licenses. The availability isn’t just to boost transparency from the government, but also to help engagement with programmers, students, citizens and journalists. The data has also supported contests to create new engagement tools; in June, the city announced the winners of an open data contest, including a tool to show how the city was sending tax money.
"The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics plays a crucial role in how Operations identifies and prioritizes data trends and recommends ways to improve City services by making them more effective and efficient," Jeff Thamkittikasem, director of the mayor’s office of operations, said in a statement. He added that Jin’s "data expertise and government experience will better position us to further advance equity across New York City."
Despite the importance of the position to the city, the analytics officer position has been unfilled since 2017, when Amen Ra Mashariki left the position.
Jin brings extensive government experience to the post — while at the White House she led a nation-wide data sharing effort with cities of various sizes, including analyzing data on criminal justice and policing initiatives. At the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, she continued the justice efforts, including identifying more effective and less costly solutions for criminal justice and health care systems.