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Operation smart city

Jonathan Andrews spoke to Bob Bennett, Chief Innovation Officer in Kansas City, Missouri as he prepares to move to Phase Two of the smart city strategy and expand the five-square kilometre test-bed to the entire city
Bob Bennett, Chief Innovation Officer, Kansas City, Missouri
Photo: KCMO

When looking through the backgrounds of most city CIOs you would expect to read about experience from the technology and IT sectors, or public administration. You would not see many list 24 years’ service in the US Army but Bob Bennett was still on active service when he applied for the role of CIO for Kansas City.

A graduate of the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point, Bennett served in the US army in Germany, Italy and Iraq. Towards the end of his service in 2015, he took up a strategic-level consulting job for a local non-profit, one of whose members happened to be a former mayor of Kansas City, who informed Bennett about what the city was planning.

“Some of the things that we talked about in that strategic planning session nestled very nicely with how Mayor James and City Manager Schulte were looking at the future of Kansas City as a connected community,” he says. “I thought that was interesting.”

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