- The City of Seattle hired Kate Garman as its first "smart city coordinator," according to the city's Tech Talk Blog. Garman will be responsible for collaboration across city departments to "implement and manage policies, partnerships, systems, platforms and networks that ensure the security and manageability of our smart city environment."
- The main departments Garman will be tasked to work with and develop solutions for are the Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Fire Department, Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities.
- Garman previously worked as the innovation policy advisor for Kansas City, MO, where she managed the city's Innovation Partnership Program.
As the concept of smart cities rises in popularity, so will the number of job titles related to encouraging smart development. While Seattle already has a chief technology officer, Michael Mattmiller, as well as a newly-appointed chief resilience officer, Jessica Finn Coven, it is likely that German's job will position the city to have a direct, narrow focus on smart city progression, whereas Coven and Mattmiller's positions require a more broad outlook on overall tech and resilience citywide.
Hiring Garman was surely a calculated move by the city, which recently landed the No. 9 spot on Resonance's list of America's "best large cities." Seattle also recently touted its 13th consecutive year of progress in its waste diversion efforts, and in May the city landed the No. 3 spot on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) scorecard. Seattle is progressively trending toward a smart and sustainable future; now, success will lie in how well each department can work with each other — and communicate with residents.
Seattle is one of the first major U.S. cities to hire a literal "smart cities coordinator," as many city chief resilience officers have executed the expectations of such a role. Yet as Seattle continues to make its mark on the smart city landscape, other cities may think to take notes and reassign roles as they progress.