John Paul Farmer is the Chief Technology Officer of the City of New York. At City Hall, he leads a team that deploys technology and innovation to improve how the government serves the people of the Big Apple. As an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, he has helped the United Nations improve how it uses technology in peacekeeping and how the Security Council addresses challenges associated with artificial intelligence.
Previously, John was a Managing Director of Microsoft Cities, where he led a cross-functional team to design and test technologies to make communities more livable, more productive, and more equitable. John’s work on rapid reskilling gave adults in-demand tech skills shown to quintuple their earning power. His team’s use of artificial intelligence removed language barriers to government services. As the Founder & CEO of The Innovation Project, John spread innovation best practices globally.
John served as the Senior Advisor for Innovation at the White House under President Barack Obama, where he co-founded and led the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to attract top private sector change-makers for focused tours of duty in government. The program has since been enshrined in law and catalyzed a movement of civically engaged technologists, data scientists, and entrepreneurs using their skills in the public interest through 18F and the U.S. Digital Service, as well as similar initiatives in governments around the world. John’s work has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, WIRED, the Washington Post, TechCrunch, and the Harvard Business Review.
Prior to the U.S. government, John envisioned and built new business units in the private sector. He has experience in the technology, finance, and healthcare sectors. John played professional baseball in the minor league systems of the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. John holds an M.B.A. with honors from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and an A.B. with honors from Harvard University.