Boston names man behind Obama's campaign site as CIO


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Boston has named Jascha Franklin-Hodge, a successful entrepreneur whose company powered the digital presence of President Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns, as its new chief information officer.

Franklin-Hodge will begin work with the city July 28 tasked with enhancing online service delivery, empowering city employees with effective digital tools and improving access to technology and the Internet for all Boston neighborhoods.

“We can use technology to make it easier for Bostonians to do business with the city and to empower city employees to provide great service,” Franklin-Hodge said. “Access to the Internet and technical skills can enhance educational and economic opportunity, and Mayor Walsh and I share a vision for a more connected Boston.”

Honored to join @marty_walsh and @DoITBoston as Boston’s next Chief Information Officer. #boston

— Jascha F.-H. (@jfh) June 25, 2014

Added Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, “Jascha Franklin-Hodge will be a vital addition to our city’s leadership team, following the exceptional work of Justin Holmes. Jascha has directed large, high-profile technology operations, and I know he comes well-equipped to help Boston continue its leadership as a world-class tech city.”

Franklin-Hodge co-founded Blue State Digital in 2004 and currently runs BSD’s Boston technology office. He oversaw the development and operation of BSD Tools, an online fundraising, email and customer relationship management platform that powered the digital presence of President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

The platform has processed $1.6B in online donations and delivered more than 24 billion emails on behalf of over 500 clients. Current and past clients include: One Fund Boston; the Democratic National Committee; Partners in Health; Google; the NAACP, SEIU; the current presidents of France, Brazil and Mexico; Sens. Kennedy, Kerry, Markey and Warren; and the campaigns of more than 50 other members of Congress.

Prior to founding Blue State Digital, Franklin-Hodge worked on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, during which he led the technology team responsible for scaling, securing and maintaining a high visibility, high traffic website that received praise from both the political and tech communities for its usability, reliability and depth of functionality.

Since 2009, Franklin-Hodge has served as an advisor to Code for America, a nonprofit which connects technologists with cities to help government solve civic challenges and encourages innovation in government technology.

Previously, Franklin-Hodge was the director of software development for AOL’s Digital Music Division, has worked for the Art Technology Group and Software Tool and Die and has consulted for the Computer Museum, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Franklin-Hodge studied computer science at MIT and lives in South Boston.

He will replace Justin Holmes, who has been serving as Boston’s CIO on an interim basis. Holmes in turn stepped in for Bill Oates, the city’s longtime CIO under former mayor Thomas Menino, who left to become the CIO for the state of Massachusetts late last year.

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