The County of Santa Clara has appointed Nina D’Amato as its new chief information officer (CIO). In this role, D’Amato will be responsible for all countywide management and implementation of technology services, projects and special initiatives. The CIO oversees all projects and operations involving technological infrastructure, business systems, application development and user productivity and support.
D’Amato, who joined the County in 2019 and helped lead the Technology Services and Solutions (TSS) Department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been serving as acting chief information officer since February. She brings a wealth of leadership, experience and strategic thinking to the role, which she started July 10.
“The position of chief information officer is incredibly important, directing the County’s information technology policies, programs and services. It’s an especially critical role in Silicon Valley, the home of technological innovation,” said County Executive James R. Williams. “We are thrilled to have someone of Nina’s caliber take the lead in planning and implementing the modernization of the County’s many technological systems and products.”
As chief information officer, D’Amato leads a department of roughly 900 people. Technology Services and Solutions oversees the County’s expansive technological infrastructure and a $110 million dollar information technology project portfolio in support of the County’s roughly 25,000 employees. TSS works closely with staff across all departments and organizations, including the County’s three hospitals, to streamline and optimize their systems. Modernizing these systems and digitally transforming County programs and services are among D’Amato’s top priorities.
“All County employees need the right tools and technologies to effectively meet the needs of our residents,” said Greta Hansen, the County’s chief operating officer. “Under Nina’s leadership, Technology Services and Solutions will improve our technological systems and infrastructure and make County services more efficient and user-friendly.”
A veteran of the Marine Corps who retired in 2019 as a lieutenant colonel, D’Amato has extensive experience in government at the local and federal levels. She served as chief of staff for the Department of Technology with the City and County of San Francisco for three years, beginning in 2016.
D’Amato joined the County of Santa Clara in 2019 as director of Information Technology. Within a few months, she became a key member of the team that led the County’s technology response to COVID-19, as TSS equipped thousands of employees with laptops, mobile phones and devices; set up software and processes for staff to collaborate virtually; and enabled the Board of Supervisors, commissions and committees to conduct their meetings remotely. In 2022, D’Amato became associate CIO for shared business services, overseeing a $420 million operating budget, managing the teams that procure technological products and supplies, and working with County stakeholders to develop strategies and guide County investments in technology.
As CIO, D’Amato’s priorities include laying a modern technical foundation for all County operations, upgrading County systems to improve performance and collaboration, and digitizing public-facing services to make them accessible, seamless and inclusive. She also aims to improve customer service and operational efficiency, while building the department’s workforce through training and investment. To help the County meet the needs of all residents, D’Amato will also focus on digital equity – ensuring every resident has a solid internet connection to thrive in the modern digital world and access County services.
“Technology plays a pivotal role in transforming public services, which requires a deep understanding of our residents and users, teamwork between departments, and modern technology,” said D’Amato. “I’m excited and honored to serve alongside a talented group of professionals throughout the County organization who are committed to improving the lives of our residents.”
D’Amato earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and is currently studying for an MBA from UC Berkeley. When she’s not working, D’Amato enjoys spending time with family and friends.