Sara WhiteChief Information Officer
Born and raised in New Orleans, Sara pursued a masters in public policy and emergency public health at UCLA following hurricane Katrina. Sara completed her thesis in 2007, working with Myspace.com and the UCLA Office of Emergency Management to develop a model for universities to use social media for crisis communications. Sara has worked with a number of local, federal, and international government agencies, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and private sector companies, focusing on innovation and the use of technology in public safety, from communications to situational awareness and data and decision-making. Efforts have included large-scale international and multi-stakeholder experimentation, technology and digital strategy development, user technical and business requirements identification, development of process, supporting resources (e.g. education and training), legislation, policy, legal and security challenges and mitigation plans, business continuity and continuity of operations planning, IT/DR, and significant stakeholder engagement. Sara now serves as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for the City of New Orleans. Her work has expanded to focus on the entire lifespan of technology, from K-12 STEM and computer science advocacy, digital literacy, fostering civic engagement and innovation, technology workforce development, implementation and management of enterprise technology systems. She is a staunch advocate for the combination and integration of both arts and technology education, and feels very strongly that technology outreach and education must be offered through existing cultural traditions and communities. Technology should match the needs of those who will benefit from it, not the other way around.