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As Assistant CIO Heads for Exit, City Recruits Successor

The C-level technologist’s next step in his career takes him to the private sector. He has a dual role at the municipality where he’s been for about three years.

San Jose City Hall
San Jose, Calif., City Hall. (Mike Brake/Shutterstock)
A municipal technology leader in the heart of Silicon Valley is heading to the private sector, and the city is seeking his replacement.

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Jerry Driessen is stepping down as assistant chief information officer (ACIO) and chief technology officer (CTO) at San Jose, nearly three years after joining the city. The former chief information officer for Hennepin County, Minn., came to San Jose in March 2019 and is now joining Info-Tech Research Group, where he’ll be executive counselor, state and local government.

“It’s pretty exciting because I’ve been working within government for a long time, 30 years. This will give me an opportunity to take what I’ve learned and broaden it out and work with many jurisdictions as opposed to just one,” Driessen told Techwire. His last day at the city will be Dec. 3, and he’ll start at Info-Tech Dec. 6. Driessen cited work on San Jose 311 as a signature accomplishment as well as the internal Powered by People effort – a partnership between IT and HR jump-started by the pandemic to focus on recovery, keeping staff safe, creating new remote teams and updating equipment – and business process automation that modernized more than 40 processes.

“With his decades-long experience in local government and public safety, Jerry adds credibility and expertise to the Info-Tech public sector team. This will benefit our members, as he can contextualize our research and advisory content,” Hannes Scheidegger, senior managing partner at Info-Tech, told Techwire via email.

San Jose Chief Information Officer Rob Lloyd said Driessen’s exit has been in the works “some months,” and “(o)ur original plan was for him to spend two to three years in Silicon Valley.” Lloyd praised Driessen’s “leading work in customer responsive tech, product-project management, AI, and innovation programs. Grateful that he did, and I count him as a brother in this great work we’ve done,” Lloyd told Techwire via email. “In effect, San Jose has had two CIO-level leaders, and it shined through the pandemic.” The ACIO’s work was, Lloyd said, “no small part of why we’ve been able to repeat as No. 1 in the Digital Cities awards in 2021.” Last week, San Jose was named the first place winner in its population category in the annual Digital Cities Survey from the Center for Digital Government,* for the second time in two years.

San Jose’s recruitment for “Assistant Chief Information Officer (Assistant Director), Information Technology Department,” began Friday. The city is, Lloyd said on LinkedIn: “Looking for the rare star who partners to deliver wicked-hard initiatives, makes teams stronger, and who has a heart of service. Our focus areas for the next three years: Equity Solutions; Secure and Resilient City; Optimization; Drive to Digital; and Masterful Partnerships and Procurements.” The job is the “No. 2 technology leadership position,” according to the recruitment, and requires someone who can “team with the CIO to lead and sustain an exceptional innovation and technology team, enabling the city to provide superior municipal services through advanced tools and processes.”

The experience and leadership skills San Jose seeks for its next ACIO includes:

  • Hands-on portfolio-product-project management
  • Customer empathy and customer experience design
Desirable job competencies include at least seven years’ “senior technology executive experience or IT consulting practice leadership for organizations of significant scope,” including five years of “applied experience with enterprise/application architectures, managing a complex IT portfolio, administering SDLC activities, and/or successful delivery of major products and projects.” “Highly desirable competencies” for the post include “specific applied knowledge and experience in organizational development,” and experience in “resource-lean environments where technology is used as a multiplier ... .” Education and experience required includes a combination of training and experience equal to a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in business administration, public administration or related field, and seven years’ “increasingly responsible experience in business management and/or administration, operations, or maintenance.” Salary is to be determined; and while the recruitment will be open until filled and applications reviewed continuously, the first such review will be Dec. 6 – with applications due by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 5.

*The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, parent company of Techwire and Government Technology magazine.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.