Chief Information Officer at Clark County, Nevada
Clark County, Nevada, is principally known for the flashing lights and fast-living of the city of Las Vegas, and simultaneously as the intended sports, entertainment, gaming and conference destination of the universe.
The ‘brand’ of Clark County is chiefly carried by the Las Vegas Strip – “but we are so much more than that,” says Bob Leek, the county’s Chief Information Officer. “My role encompasses responsibility for delivering all information technology services to the county, so that we can effectively deliver them to the public that falls under our jurisdiction.”
As a consequence of Information Technology, however, the traditional boundaries that delineate this jurisdiction are expanding.
Geographically, Clark County has 2.2 million residents and about 46 million people that visit the county every year. It is also home to the eighth busiest airport in the world, the state's largest public hospital – and is the 11th largest county in the United States in terms of population. Its peer counties are those with cities like Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and New York.
Clark County is unique in that they also provide services which normally fall under the remit of the city or municipality, with over a million people living in unincorporated Clark County.
These public services include fire services, law enforcement, roads and bridges, sewers, parks and recreational planning, permitting and business licensing – services that cities would typically provide.
Bob Leek is a department head amongst 38 departments at Clark County.
“I work with my peers on how they deliver services to the public, and we divide that up into two main objectives,” he says. “The first is to keep all of the information technology, resources and assets (such as uptime and availability, network, devices and operating systems) – everything that people would typically associate with traditional IT related roles – running and humming.”
“But the other objective (which is rapidly growing in local government) is to consider and plan for the future,” he says, “and that means working closely with our department to identify and understand how they want to improve the delivery of services to the public, and how that can be enabled by technology.”
According to Leek, these objectives are carried out with the underlying intent to create “a great place to work”.
Motivated and fulfilled staff translate into the effective provision of services to Clark County’s public. This recognition is crucial. It belongs to the growing trend of recent years: applying a holistic approach to synthesising the macro and micro ecosystems of wellbeing, as well as the intimate relationship between the wellbeing of the providers of public services with that of the public, who are its ultimate recipients.
Bob Leek didn't grow up in public services. Soon, it will be his 10th year as a leader of county services, but his background is in retail – working for a company called egghead.com during the dot com era – and then for Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest healthcare companies in the United States, for a further ten years. This movement from digital and gargantuan private companies to public services has endowed him with a perspective that could be greatly beneficial to the delivery of public services.
Read the full story HERE.
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