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Newsom Names Marino Director of Office of Data and Innovation

Jeffery Marino has a deep background in data, technology and human-centered design, and he’s a proponent of using technology to make government more responsive and accessible to Californians.

Jeffery Marino, a technologist with a deep background in user experience and data storytelling, has been named director of the Office of Data and Innovation (ODI), part of the California Government Operations Agency (GovOps).

Jeffery Marino.
Jeffery Marino
Marino was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to lead ODI, taking the reins from the interim leader, Jared Johnson, the deputy state chief information officer and chief deputy director of the California Department of Technology.

ODI was formed in July 2022 through a merger of the Office of Digital Innovation, the Government Excellence and Transformation Center (GET Center) and the CalData Program. GovOps Secretary Amy Tong was the previous director of the Office of Digital Innovation, from Jan. 1, 2022, until her appointment as secretary the following month.

Marino began his tenure at ODI in May 2020, joining as a program manager and holding a series of increasingly responsible positions — deputy director for service innovation, then deputy director and chief strategist before his appointment this month to the director position.

In his LinkedIn profile, Marino describes himself thusly: “A seasoned data journalist and tech leader, my expertise lies at the intersection of advanced analytics and storytelling. I’ve used my unique talents as a data storyteller to craft winning marketing campaigns, drive innovative communications strategies, inform executives about product performance, and to develop high-profile thought leadership programs at multiple successful startups.”

Before entering the public sector, Marino worked in the private sector as an analyst and journalist, with affiliations including Redfin, the Los Angeles Times, ZipRecruiter, Opendoor and Motley Fool’s Millionacres.

Since joining state government, Marino has been a regular speaker and panelist at government technology events across the state.

He offered insights into his background, his principles and his goals when he was a panelist at September’s California Government Innovation Summit. In a session focused on human-centered design, he described how his interest in technology — specifically, how data can be used in the private and public sectors — led him from the private sector to his leadership role in ODI.

As Industry Insider — California reported then: “Marino said he’s focusing ODI’s work on ensuring equitable access to technology for Californians in a couple of ways. Not only is it important to include all demographic groups in the state’s outreach efforts, he said it’s also critical for government to speak with residents in a way they can understand. To that end, part of ODI’s mission is to help overhaul government technology to a ‘plain language standard,’ whereby residents can readily understand and use the state’s online services. And finally, he said, ODI is working with CDT on generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) to ‘leave no one behind.’”

Marino received his bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from California State University, San Bernardino and his master’s in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies including USA Today in Washington, D.C.