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City Hires New Chief Information Officer


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By Jorge Casuso

June 20, 2024 -- The chief tech officer for the city of Glendale, Arizona has been hired to head Santa Monica's Information Services Department, marking only the third time the post has changed hands since the dawn of the internet.
Feroz Merchhiya Feroz Merchhiya (Courtesy
City of Santa Monica)

Feroz Merchhiya -- who has more than 20 years experience in both the private tech sector and government -- was tapped to fill the post by City Manager David White, City officials announced Thursday.

Merchhiya will assume the $253,674 per year post on July 15 after a nationwide search to replace Paula Crowell, who withdrew her acceptance in December
("Officer Tapped to Head City Tech Department Turns Down Job," December 4, 2023).

“Technology is the cornerstone of city services and operations,” White said in a statement, citing "Feroz’s wealth of experience in enterprise technology and information security."

"I’m confident he will build on our information services department’s great work towards even more improvements for our residents and businesses,” White said.

As chief information officer, Merchhiya will oversee a team of 50 staff members and a $13 million budget, City oficials said.

He will be "responsible for the city's strategic use of technology and cybersecurity to enhance community experience, leverage data, provide insights and improve services," City officials said.

Merchhiya began his career at Oracle Corporation and led strategic service delivery and technology solutions for Kaygen Incorporated before joining the City of Glendale in June 2020.

As CIO for Glendale, a city of some 250,000 that is home of the Arizona Cardinals football team, Merchhiya was charged with advancing technology initiatives to help create a “smart city,” according to Toggle Magazine.

“In my opinion, a smart city is how you leverage technology to deliver services to the citizens in a most efficient and effective manner that improves the lives of the citizens,” Merchhiya told the digital trade journal.

“‘Learn, teach, learn’ is a principal part of my makeup,” he said. “I believe a continuous learning and improvement environment is critical to today’s rapidly changing technology landscape.”

In Santa Monica, Merchhiya will lead the City "in implementing strategic technology initiatives in line with the department’s mission to empower people, connect the community and develop solutions to support a digitally literate city," officials wrote.

"I am thrilled to join the team of dedicated civic leaders at Santa Monica," Merchhiya said in a statement Thursday. "I look forward to leveraging my skills and experience to serve the community."

He said he also is looking forward to "collaborating with key partners and stakeholders to ensure we embrace the latest technological advancements to deliver streamlined services for all."

Merchhiya holds a master’s degree in business administration from National University and a bachelor of science degree from Karachi University.

He is the recipient of numerous professional certifications and industry awards, City officials said.

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