Virginia Appoints First Chief Data Officer


Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has appointed the commonwealth’s first Chief Data Officer. Carlos Rivero will take over the role.

Rivero has had an expansive career in government. Prior to his appointment, Rivero served as Chief Data Officer and Chief Enterprise Architect for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration in Washington, D.C. Rivero has also worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, Florida, as a physical scientist and as a Research Associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Virginia recently created the role through new legislation designed to codify data policy in the commonwealth. In his new role, Rivero will be tasked with setting up frameworks around how data is used across government and improving the breadth and depth of data available to policymakers and the public.

Virginia joins a growing number of states that have created Chief Data Officer positions. As open data portals and data-driven policymaking become more popular, governments are recognizing the need to create a position that is designed to coordinate those efforts and ensure new policies are implemented consistently.