San Francisco and Washington, DC Partner to Launch the Council of Global City CIOs

New group includes Chicago, New York City, The Hague, Dubai, Boston, Seattle, and more

Posted by Mayor Muriel Bowser and Mayor Ed Lee

Technology impacts every person on this planet, including, of course, those who live in our great cities of Washington, DC and San Francisco. And it will continue to impact how we, mayors of the world’s cities, serve our residents. The question is, how do we harness the technological opportunity to make their lives better?

In our cities, we have had some recent successes.

San Francisco continues to accelerate connectivity with expanded free, public #SFWiFi, connecting more than 450,000 users with 13.5 million sessions in June 2016, and upgrades to municipal fiber, all while launching a dedicated network for the Internet of Things. The Innovation Capital is strongly focused on digitizing government for the benefit of those who need it most. These initiatives will be incorporated into a comprehensive Smart City Strategy that is currently being developed.

Washington, DC already provides 680 public #DCWiFi hotspots achieving almost 15 percent coverage across the city and we continue to expand this critical resource by 3–5 percent annually, which has a dramatic and positive impact on digital inclusion. Additionally, DC recently launched its Pennsylvania Avenue 2040 (PA 2040) #SmarterDC Project that combines IT infrastructure, public #DCWiFi, and remote sensors to enhance visitors experience on ‘America’s Main Street.’ We are also in the process of launching additional Smart City pilot projects involving movement analytics, waste management, and water quality management that are expected to improve city operations and public services for our citizens and businesses.

We realize though, that in order to go bigger, faster, and safer the mayors of the world’s cities cannot do it alone. The solution will be a collective one, and it will be a global one. We must work together.

Just think about how much opportunity is left to be leveraged. According to a recent estimate of big data, every day we create more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in just the last two years. Frankly, there is now and will continue to be more data being produced than we have ideas about how it can and should be used by cities to improve lives.

But that doesn’t have to be the case if cities like ours, and like New York City, The Hague, Chicago, Austin, Dubai, Seattle, Boston and others join together to figure out how to use data — how to use technology — to make real change.

That idea is transformative, at scale.

So, we’re excited to announce the cities above are now founding members of the newly created Council of Global City CIOs.

Together, over the coming months, the Council will work to finalize a work plan and priority initiatives. Each city will be represented on the Council of Global City CIOs by their city’s designated Chief Information Officer, or equivalent.

The Council will be co-led by San Francisco Chief Information Officer Miguel A Gamiño Jr. and Washington, DC Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli.

The Council will convene a planning meeting of founding cities in Washington, DC in the next few weeks, and later will host its inaugural Global City CIOs Summit in the spring of 2017. In the meantime, the Council will build a common framework, focused on three primary initiatives:

  • Developing a Smart Cities model
  • Bringing broadband connectivity to everyone, and
  • Accelerating the digitization of government through open source code-sharing

We are going to work together on the same problems so that we arrive more quickly at solutions that can benefit as many citizens of the world as possible.

We are thankful to mayors and CIOs across the country and around the world who will work with the Council to leverage our collective strengths and resources, share in responsibilities and goals, and transform our cities.


Mayor Muriel Bowser, Washington, DC

Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco

Note: Look for #globalcityCIOs from all partners for the latest updates and progress. For questions about the new council, please email or OCTODC.