The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Fountain joins Governor's Innovation Council

Jane Fountain, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, has been appointed to the Governor's Innovation Council. The newly established Council includes a group of approximately 15 experts from business and academia. Its purpose is to help the State of Massachusetts modernize its government through more effective use of the Internet, web, social media, and other digital tools. 


BOSTON -- Wednesday, April 25, 2012 -- Governor Deval Patrick has signed an executive order establishing the Commonwealth’s Council for Innovation, continuing the Administration’s ongoing efforts to change the way government does business, while achieving savings for taxpayers. The council will advise Governor Patrick on the best opportunities to improve government efficiency and use technology to streamline delivery of services to people, businesses and local governments. 

“Our goal is to support innovation across state government by engaging experts and entrepreneurs to help us make targeted investments in new technology,” said Governor Patrick. “The Commonwealth’s Council for Innovation will help us find new opportunities to use cutting edge technology to improve service delivery and cut expenses.”

“Our Administration is committed to providing new tools and resources to improve the way government serves people,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “The work of the Council will be critical as we apply technology to improve everything we do in government including creating jobs, having safer neighborhoods, closing the achievement gap and containing health care costs.”

Proposed in the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget recommendation, the Council will enhance the Administration’s ongoing efforts to improve services to residents, businesses and local governments by engaging with technology experts and entrepreneurs to focus on creating technology upgrades that will help streamline the delivery of services.

“Given our new fiscal reality and reduced workforce, government must change the way it does business,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez. “Technology presents our best opportunity for driving innovative new approaches to improving services for citizens at lower costs for taxpayers.”

The Council members include venture capitalists, founders of successful start-ups, technology specialists, innovation experts and leading academics from Harvard, MIT and the University of Massachusetts. The Council will use their breadth of experience to help the Administration to set technology and innovation priorities, identify new opportunities for government to leverage technology to support innovative approaches to delivering government services and identify new partnerships for delivering programs and services to residents.

“The Patrick-Murray Administration has worked to reform the role information technology plays in government so we can invest in IT more wisely, and ensure our IT services are delivered more reliably and with better alignment to business priorities,” said the Commonwealth’s Chief Information Officer John Letchford. “I look forward to working with the Governor and Innovation Council to drive technology-infused business strategies that will continue to enhance how we deliver government services to Commonwealth residents, businesses and local governments.”

The Patrick-Murray Administration has a track record of technology-supported innovation across state government, including implementing a new call system at the Division of Unemployment Assistance that reduces the wait times and implementing “eLicensing” at the Department of Public Safety to allow companies and individuals to apply and pay for their licensing and renewals on-line. Additionally, the Administration’s effort to consolidate IT services through Executive Order 532 has generated an estimated $14 million in savings for the Commonwealth since 2011.

In addition to establishing a Council for Innovation to support innovation efforts across state government, the EO creates a Government Innovation Officer (GIO) position within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance to focus on improving internal government efficiencies and identifying technology savings and efficiencies. The EO also establishes a statewide innovation competition to solicit proposals for innovative uses of technology that will enable the Commonwealth to better serve its residents and save money. Details on the competition are being developed and will be announced in the coming months.

The Council members include:

  • Mohamad Ali (Arlington, MA), Chairman of the Mass Technology Leadership Council

  • Jeff Bussgang (Newton, MA), General partner at Flybridge Venture Capital and Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship

  • Marla Capozzi (Wellesley, MA), Senior innovation expert and co-leader of Global Innovation at McKinsey & Company

  • Art Dorfman (Sharon, MA), National vice president for SAP America

  • Jane Fountain (Sturbridge, MA), Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst 

  • Diane Hessan (Boston, MA), President and CEO CommuniSpace 

  • Elaine Karmack (Brewster, MA), Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

  • Andrew McAfee (Cambridge, MA), Principal research scientist at MIT’s Center for Digital Business at the Sloan School of Management

  • Bill Oates (Brighton, MA), Chief information officer for the City of Boston

  • Jim O’Neill (Hingham, MA), Chief information officer at HubSpot  

  • Phil Swisher (Boston, MA), Senior vice president for innovation at Brown Brothers Harriman

Read Executive Order #542.


News Type: 

  • Faculty News