SAN LEANDRO -- The city joined the ranks of larger municipalities like San Francisco and Philadelphia this week when it hired a chief innovation officer.

Beginning Monday, Deborah Acosta will be tasked with driving technology-based development and managing the city's role in the public-private partnership Lit San Leandro, which created and is expanding a fiber optic loop to provide companies ultra-highspeed Internet communications, according to city staff.

Once a position found solely in the private sector, chief innovation officers have begun appearing in the public sector in cities seeking to use technological advances to better government services, or in San Leandro's case, wishing to attract tech companies to their city and market all the city has to offer them.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy called Acosta's hiring a significant step in transforming San Leandro into a center of innovation.

Acosta said in a statement, "I am thrilled to be joining a team that combines the best of East Bay resources and leadership for the opportunity to grow an innovative, technology-focused business community and create sustainable jobs."

Acosta most recently cofounded 2.Oakland, a consortium of tech companies focused on expanding technology in the Easy Bay. Acosta previously worked 12 years as the City of Oakland's economic development coordinator, 12 years in the banking industry in San Francisco, and for a time worked as a business development consultant. She will earn $125,268 annually as the city's chief innovation officer, a position 75 percent funded this year by Lit San Leandro partner OSISoft, city staff said.


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Ashly McGlone covers San Leandro, San Lorenzo and the Washington Township Health Care District. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/AshlyReports.