PITTSBURGH, PA (December 21, 2018) Mayor William Peduto is naming Santiago Garces, currently the Chief Innovation Officer in South Bend, Indiana, as Pittsburgh’s new Director of the Department of Innovation and Performance.
Garces started South Bend’s Department of Innovation and Technology in 2015, an office which has identified and commenced implementations of projects saving taxpayers more than $15 million. Using scientific methods to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of city services, the office has improved initiatives including its Vacant and Abandoned Properties and Group Violence Intervention programs. It also led initiatives on the digital inclusion and the future of work.
Like Pittsburgh, South Bend has partnered with its educational institutions to collaborate on good government measures. Both cities were founding members of the Metro Lab Network, which works collaboratively to develop and deploy smart city solutions to municipal government challenges.
“Santi Garces is a national leader in finding data-driven solutions to make cities more efficient, transparent and responsive to their residents. Pittsburgh will be lucky to have him,” Mayor Peduto said.
“I am honored and excited about joining Mayor Peduto and the City of Pittsburgh in delivering great services that empower and connect our employees and our residents. I will continue the Pittsburgh tradition of collaborating to bring inclusiveness, sustainability, and responsiveness to our City government,” Garces said.
Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Garces holds degrees in Electrical Engineering, Political Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Notre Dame.
His nomination will be subject to City Council approval. His 2019 salary is $108,819. He replaces former Director Lee Haller, who left city government in August.