Murtaza Masood, Los Angeles County government’s award-winning executive in IT and human resources, has returned to his roots in the private sector. Masood is the new managing a principal with Tridens Partners, an Orange County-based consultancy.

Masood spent five years with the county Department of Human Resources (DHR), where he was chief information officer before being promoted to assistant director. During his county tenure, he and his team were recognized as one of 2019’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” by Government Technology, Techwire’s sister publication. Masood had been a frequent speaker and presenter at IT conferences and briefings, and he authored a commentary for Techwire in 2018 about leveraging data as a key to success in automating HR functions.

Serving as CIO and then assistant director of DHR “was a very gratifying and beneficial experience,” Masood told Techwire in an interview. “It was more focused on business process and operations. I was able to do a lot of business process innovation and transformation. … It’s been a great run, both from a technical achievement perspective as well as seeing how public service impacts all of our lives, especially the ones who need it the most.”

With Tridens, Masood will be “providing clients with a unique perspective that I’ve been able to gain over the last two decades or so, both consulting in product development and enterprise-scale operations that I’ve been able to do at the county.”

As Tridens’ managing principal, Masood will set the strategy for Tridens’ service portfolio, “taking it up a notch from just technical implementation to strategic IT consulting – being able to define a strategy, and then translate that into a tactical, implementable road map, and then providing clients with best-of-breed consulting.” He likened his new role to “an IT management consultant married with highly competent technical engineering skills.”

His new position, he said, is a culmination of his professional career progression: He started with a consulting firm, then moved through increasingly responsible management positions with various firms – project manager, software architect/team lead, vice president for consulting, founding chief technology officer for a startup, and then his five years with Los Angeles County.

Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Masood said, showed him “there is a need out there that a client, whether public sector or private sector, should be able to rely on a trusted adviser … who knows how the rubber will meet the road, bringing that practical, pragmatic, strategic consulting to the table.”

Asked whether Tridens does any work with government, he replied: “Not yet – but part of being in the consulting business is going where the opportunity takes you, as long as you are able to deliver on the promise.”

He said his advice for his unnamed successor is simple yet timely: “Every crisis has an opportunity to it, and … maybe the HR assistant director who takes over will take a hard look at ‘What does work mean in L.A. County, and how can DHR be a leader in transforming how we do work and how we deliver services to the public?’ Does that mean an enhanced workforce that is working from anywhere at anytime, as needed?” The goal, he said, is “a truly digital citizen engagement experience.”

Masood has a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and a master’s in business administration from UC Irvine, as well as a Project Management Professional credential from the Project Management Institute. He was married last year, and he and his wife live in Mission Viejo.