Baltimore City Announces Chief Data Officer, Broadband and Digital Equity Director

Justin Elszasz, Chief Data Officer
Jason Hardebeck, Director of Broadband and Digital Equity

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott today announced two appointments for Chief Data Office and the City’s first Director of Broadband and Digital Equity.

Mayor Scott announced Justin Elszasz, currently the Deputy Director and Analytics Lead for the Mayor’s Office of Performance & Innovation, will serve as the administration’s Chief Data Officer. Jason Hardebeck has been appointed as the City’s first Director of Broadband and Digital Equity. Elszasz and Hardebeck officially assume their roles in the Scott administration this week and will report to the City Administrator.

From the press release:

“Both the Chief Data Officer and Digital Equity Director will play integral roles on my team, working to improve data practices across the board and close the digital divide for Baltimore residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “My administration remains focused on modernizing the processes and practices of City government through a framework of equity and transparency, and I look forward to working closely with Justin and Jason to solve Baltimore’s most challenging problems in the years ahead.”

As Chief Data Officer, Justin Elszasz will work with city agencies to improve data practices across City government, mitigate the impacts of biased data on equity, and promote effective data use and transparency. He has initiated a new data governance framework for Baltimore and is developing the city’s first Open Checkbook, which will allow residents to explore city expenditures. Elszasz will also launch a formal data training program for city employees and engage with the Baltimore community around data and technology.

“Every day, I’m inspired to work in an administration that places data, equity, and transparency at the center of our work for residents, and am honored to continue serving the city in this new and broader capacity,” said Justin Elszasz, the Scott administration’s Chief Data Officer. “Many of our agencies are already engaged in meaningful and sophisticated work using data to better understand and improve operations on behalf of residents. I am excited to work closely with Mayor Scott and City Administrator Shorter to support and celebrate their tremendous efforts.”

Additionally, Jason Hardebeck will serve as the City’s first Director of Broadband and Digital Equity, a member of the Mayor’s Executive Team. In this position, Hardebeck will be Baltimore City’s primary representative for coordination with internal and external digital equity stakeholders, with the explicit purpose of closing the digital divide.

“I’m honored to serve the Scott administration as we work to close the digital divide once and for all,” said Jason Hardebeck, Director of Broadband and Digital Equity for the Scott administration. “Every Baltimorean must be able to participate fully in the digital economy to reach our true potential as a world-class city. I look forward to working with the Mayor and City Administrator to fundamentally transform our approach to digital access and connectivity and do so through a lens of equity.”

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for the latest.