Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York named 2008 College graduate Kelly Jin as Chief Analytics Officer for the entire city on Oct. 17.
Jin, who majored in economics at Penn, will now oversee the entire analytics department, according to a press release. In the position, Jin works to improve the city’s data structures, support city officials, and implement systems to make data publicly available.
“We’re really focused on how can we use data to make better decisions across the city,” Jin said.
The position was vacant for over a year and was previously held by Amen Ra Mashariki, who left to work in the private sector.
“Our data analytics team is a crucial part of bringing important city initiatives to life, tracking their progress, and finding new ways to understand the city through data,” de Blasio said in the press release.
“I know Kelly has the experience and the drive to use our data resources to help City Hall and city agencies make better decisions and craft better policies, as well as manage the largest Open Data program in the country.”
At Penn, Jin was involved with the Civic House and the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, which she said helped spark her interest in public service.
“I’ve always been a big believer that one should be engaged with one’s community,” she said.
Jin’s experience lies primarily in public service and data-driven positions. From June 2016 to January 2017, she worked in the Obama administration as a policy advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.
Jin has also had direct experience leading city analytics teams as the Boston Citywide Analytics Manager from January 2015 to June 2016. Before joining New York City’s analytics department, Jin was the Director of Results-Driven Government at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which uses data to “tackle inequities in our social, governmental, and economic systems.”
Jin said that her return to public service was motivated by being able to have an impact on her community.
“I really enjoy the work on the ground, having direct interaction with constituents,” she said.
In her new role, Jin will also manage the Open Data program, which currently hosts 2,205 publicly available datasets for New York City. The Gotham Gazette reported that the program has previously “faced criticism for not doing enough to ensure that agencies upload their datasets on time, and for the generally slow progress that has been made.”
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