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California Controller John Chiang Hires Open Data Advocate And Tech Industry Outreach Director

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, May 30 2012

California Controller John Chiang has hired open government advocate Tina Lee as the office's Bay Area director of outreach and innovation.

The position is a new one, and in an interview, Lee said that she hopes to help Chiang's office adopt best practices when it comes to publishing information online in an open format. A big part of her job is also going to be liaising between the controller's office and the tech industry in San Francisco and figuring out what the office can do to improve the fiscal environment for the startup community in the city.

"I really saw an opportunity to take an opportunity to take open government to the state level, and I made the pitch [for the job] because [Chiang] is sitting on a trove of data," Lee said.

As a few quick examples, she noted that the controller's office has myriad responsibilities, such as the auditing of California cities' finances, is involved in formulating state tax policies, and also collects a lot of information about the state's conservation efforts, to name a few areas.

Lee, 38, a true geek, sounded thrilled and tremendously excited with all the potential possibilities with her new job.

Prior to this, Lee worked as the ZeroDivide Foundation's director of innovation and learning, where she provided consulting to implement a program to narrow the digital divide in the Bay Area.

Lee has also worked with Jay Nath, San Francisco's chief innovation officer when he was in the city and county's department of technology, where she was an emerging technologies team fellow. In her new role, she'll be working mostly out of The Hub, a shared workspace for entrepreneurs in the city.