Palo Alto City Manager James Keene has been named one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers of 2017 by Government Technology magazine. Featured in the April/May issue of magazine, the honorees include change-makers inside and outside of the public sector whose work significantly impacts how government functions.
Keene is recognized for ideas that remain fresh and thoughtful, particularly when it comes to local government's mindset about information technology (IT).
"This year’s Top 25 is an inspiring look at what’s right in the public sector," said Noelle Knell, editor of Government Technology. “Their work is marked by big ideas, bold thinking and skillful execution on the promise of truly digital government.”
Keene would like to see local governments move to the cloud, use agile development, and create opportunities for more collaboration with the private sector and private citizens. At the same time, he believes cities must rethink their assets, from streetlights to parking meters, which can be turned into digital tools.
“But a city doesn’t become innovative and more effective by changing how it obtains and uses technology. You have to build trust and think like a startup,” according to Keene. “That’s the mindset we need to have, so we can scale up solutions that not only make our city a better place, but help make other cities better as well.”
Keene has been Palo Alto’s City Manager since 2008, in a public service career that spans more than three decades. He has served in the same capacity in Berkeley and Tucson.
You can read about all the winners’ stories here.