The White House welcomed 13 Local Innovation Champions of Change who have committed themselves to creating a more open and innovative government through entrepreneurship. Three of those recognized came from California.

Whether making local government information and public data more accessible; creating local environments to encourage and support entrepreneurs; or developing workforce programs to provide residents with skills for the high-tech economy, these champions of change work tirelessly to build a better future for the citizens they serve, create jobs in their community, and ensure more efficient and effective government.

As a result of their efforts, Californians have access to a more transparent government, more opportunities for participation in the activities of their city or county, and tools that catalyze new types of collaboration between the public, private, non-profit, and citizen sectors of the local community.

“I am constantly inspired by the hard work of the women and men who serve their country by working in government,” said Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Government Officer. “Entrepreneurs at the local and state level are leading the way with so many innovative solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing America today. As I work to make the President’s innovation agenda a reality, I look forward to even more projects such as the ones honored today, so we can truly out innovate the rest of the world.”

These leaders showcase the amazing movement of innovation in government across America. In addition to celebrating success, the Champions of Change event provides a great opportunity to share innovative city government products, services, and business models with other cities and discuss how to scale these innovations to others, challenging all cities across the nation to similar levels of improvement.

Carolyn Hogg
Fresno, California

Carolyn T. Hogg has served as the Chief Information Officer for the City of Fresno for the past five years. Recognizing that a city is only as good as the region surrounding it, led her to partner with agencies outside of city hall to maximize public funds. Today, Carolyn and her team of partners such as the San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium, Office of Community and Economic Development at CSU Fresno, the USDA, and the Strong Cities/Strong Communities (SC2) Federal team are working together to bring wireless broadband to the rural area which will be used for smarter farming, distance learning, tele-health, and sharing of open data and common applications used among all municipalities throughout the region to maximize public funds.

Jay Nath
San Francisco, California

Jay Nath is the Chief Innovation Officer for Mayor Ed Lee in the City of San Francisco. In this role, Nath is working with the technology community and the public to help reinvent government in the digital age. As part of this effort, he has formed partnerships with, Code For America and other institutions to open the doors of government to create innovative solutions and spin off new businesses.

Rob White
Livermore, California

Rob White is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Livermore and the Interim CEO of the i-GATE Innovation Hub, a broad super-regional partnership that is focused on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories/CA as economic engines. With over two decades of cross-sector experience, Rob is engaged in researching, assessing, and developing the ecosystem for regional innovation networks. Recognized by regional, federal and international organizations, Rob has been acknowledged as a thought leader in local government-led collaborative networks, public policy assessment in support of entrepreneurship, and economic development frameworks that focus on technology growth and innovation.