San Jose, CA Names Former US Army Technology Officer As New Chief Innovation officer

The City of San Jose, CA has named former U.S. Army Technology Officer Jordan Sun as the new Chief Innovation Officer. He will serve as director of the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation (MOTI), overseeing San Jose’s digital inclusion and broadband expansion initiatives, and will work towards the city’s economic recovery.

Prior to joining MOTI, Sun was deployed to Afghanistan as the Chief Operating Officer for the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan Technology Team with the U.S. Army. He is still a reserve officer supporting the Army’s technology modernization efforts.

Sun states that he intends to continue the work of the previous director, Shireen Santosham, regarding digital inclusion. San Jose’s “Digital Inclusion Fund,” started last fall, will be used to provide high-speed internet to 50,000 households and 95,000 residents within the next ten years. The COVID-19 pandemic has created budget concerns, while the need for connectivity has become even more crucial to ensuring that residents can get the help and information they need.

Sun would like to combine disparate groups with common themes, such as digital and financial literacy programs or workforce retraining and health-and-wellness.

“You’re looking at a host of [services] that have been traditionally broken up and decentralized,” Sun said, “and we’re thinking about how to provide a packaged menu option of services that is, quite frankly, delivered more often than not through having broadband access.”

Sun will also focus on the maintenance of privacy, while still being able to gather the data needed for decision making.

“I want to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes that others have made before, and there’s a lot of lessons learned on the next-generation conversations when it comes to privacy,” Sun said.