San Jose, Calif., Mayor Sam Liccardo has tapped Clay Garner to be the city’s new chief innovation officer and director of the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation (MOTI).
Garner is no stranger to MOTI, having joined the office in 2019 and most recently serving as deputy chief innovation officer. In a press release, Liccardo’s office said that since joining MOTI, Garner has “launched a variety of initiatives and programs aimed at closing the digital divide in San Jose.”
“Clay has a deep commitment to public service and his leadership will carry our digital initiatives to new lengths,” said Mayor Liccardo. “Clay believes that innovation should be inclusive and equitable, and his service to San Jose continues to initiate positive impact on the community through tech.”
In a press release, Liccardo’s office said that since joining MOTI, Garner has “launched a variety of initiatives and programs aimed at closing the digital divide in San Jose.” The initiatives Garner has worked on include:
- Working to close the digital divide in San Jose by digitally connecting over 300,000 residents by the end of 2022;
- Created an online mental health platform, OneSJ.org;
- A device refurbishment program to bridge the device gap for low-income families;
- Deployed 15,800 Wi-Fi hotspots to San Joseans;
- Co-founded the San Jose Data Equity program, in partnership with the Knight Foundation;
- Launched the Helium pilot program, a cryptocurrency mining initiative with proceeds that fund the purchase of low-cost internet programs for low-income households; and
- Launched Silicon Valley Strong, an online hub for resident resources and volunteer and mutual aid opportunities.
“The pandemic has underscored the vital role of the City in serving our most marginalized communities, and I will work tirelessly to improve digital access and opportunity for all San Joseans,” said Garner. “In the urban heart of Silicon Valley, we can’t afford to leave anyone unconnected.”
Before joining city government, Garner worked at Google. Garner has also consulted on mobile health projects for the United Nations Population Fund. A press release explains that his portfolio includes projects in digital services, transportation, public safety, privacy and transparency, digital inclusion, and emerging technologies.