For Immediate Release - August 08, 2014

Governor Patrick Visits Commonwealth of Massachusetts Innovation Fellows and Information Technology Interns

Unique Program fosters innovation and reform to increase efficiency and improve performance of government

Governor Patrick visits with Innovation Fellows & IT Interns
Governor Patrick Visits Commonwealth of Massachusetts Innovation Fellows and Information Technology Interns: Commonwealth Chief Information Officer Bill Oates, Deputy Government Innovation Officer Joan Matsumoto, Innovation Fellows: Mariko Davidson, Harlan Weber, Adolph Dubose, Governor Deval Patrick, Innovation Fellows: Nicole Porter, Monique Bertic, Secretary for Administration and Finance Glen Shor and Government Innovation Officer Tony Parham

Boston, MA – Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary for Administration and Finance Glen Shor joined Commonwealth Chief Information Officer Bill Oates at the Massachusetts Information Technology Center (MITC), the state’s primary technology center, in Chelsea this week to meet with Massachusetts Information Technology (MassIT) summer interns and the first-ever team of Commonwealth of Massachusetts Innovation Fellows (CMIF).

“The Innovation Fellows program and the Massachusetts Office of Information Technology internship program recognizes the importance of fostering innovation in state government and furthers our commitment to deliver better results for the people of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. 

Continuing the Patrick Administration’s commitment to increasing government efficiency through innovation, Governor Deval Patrick launched the CMIF Program in June, 2014.  The goal of the CMIF program is to grow innovation among Commonwealth employees and to use these resources to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of government.  This program, in addition to the MassIT summer internship program, which began in 2008, plays an important role in helping to strengthen and build up the pipeline of IT talent into the Executive Branch. 

“Governor Patrick is committed to making state government more customer friendly --and technology is a key component of that,” said Secretary Shor. “This program encourages a culture of innovation among Commonwealth employees and positions the state to join Massachusetts private sector companies at the vanguard of technology excellence.”

MassIT has expanded recruiting efforts at local colleges and universities and since the internships program began in 2008, 44% of all MassIT’s entry-level hires have come in through the internship program. This year’s program is the largest and most robust to date, covering a broad range of work across the Commonwealth.  This summer, the state hired 29 technology interns from 14 local schools.  Those interns are now at work across the Secretariats of Administration & Finance, Health & Human Services, Labor & Workforce Development and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 

“Governor Patrick’s ongoing commitment to ensure that the Commonwealth has the resources we need to quickly and effectively deliver services to constituents is both forward-thinking and pragmatic,” said Oates.  “Creation of the CMIF program and the success of the MassIT internship program allow us to leverage innovation and enabling technologies in our enduring work to actively engage with our constituents, build new services to meet evolving needs and efficiently run state government.”

Each year, the Commonwealth’s Government Innovation Officer will select qualified Commonwealth Innovation Fellows to address opportunities identified by state agencies for innovation and improvement. Fellows will be assigned for a term of up to one year, and each will focus on implementation of a key project. Innovation Fellows are chosen through a rigorous selection process, modeled in part on processes used for fellowship programs at the White House and the City of Boston. 

“The Innovation Fellows have a unique opportunity to accelerate the continuing evolution of state government,” said Antonio (“Tony”) Parham, the Commonwealth’s Government Innovation Officer.  "As the Innovation Fellows blend their skills and insights with the talent and resources already present in the Commonwealth, new opportunities for enhanced services and efficiencies will be created.”

Potential candidates include recent graduates of top post-graduate degree programs from across the nation, as well as entrepreneurs and experienced professionals who have the passion, interest and skill set to transform key operations.  Each Innovation Fellow will have deep subject-area knowledge and a track record as a high-impact self-starter. 

The inaugural class of fellows includes Adolph DuBose, Mariko Davidson, Harlan Weber, Nicole Porter, and Monique Bertic. They are focusing on reforming IT Procurement, using Open Data and online mapping to create useful visualizations, enhancing the online user experience for constituents, expanding shared video services to help agencies connect with constituents, and reducing criminal recidivism, respectively.

In addition to creating the CMIF program, the Commonwealth announced the addition of Naomi Fried, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer for Boston Children's Hospital, to the Governor's Council for Innovation.  "I'm excited to join the Governor's Council for Innovation,” said Dr. Fried,  ”Massachusetts has a track record for innovation, and continuing this work will greatly benefit the Commonwealth’s residents and businesses.”

2014 MassIT program includes interns representing 14 local schools, including MassBay Community College; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Boston and Lowell; Suffolk University; Emerson College; Framingham State University; Bentley University; and Boston University. 

The Governor's Council for Innovation and the role of the Government Innovation Officer were created in 2012 by Executive Order 542.  Progress made in pursuit of the Commonwealth’s innovation agenda during the 2013 fiscal year is highlighted in the 2013 Annual Report of the Office of the Government Innovation Officer.

Candidates interested in applying for the CMIF Program should send a cover letter and resume to MassInnov8@MassMail.State.MA.US.