Over the past two California administrations Tamara championed the course for the priority policy initiatives and digital service and public transformation strategies for the world’s 5th largest economy. She has consulted on civic tech, tech policy, public service reform and digital transformation with leaders around the world and spearheaded the Digital Service communities of practice, standards, playbooks, and training in California, Western Balcan and South European countries. Tamara is passionate about empowering leaders in government, and driving culture change by introducing mindset, practices and modern digital delivery skills, building teams highly skilled in human centered design, iterative product delivery and empathetic group facilitation.
Most recently Tamara co-led the team that created Californian’s response website to COVID19- covid19.ca.gov. The challenge was to create a scalable, accessible, stable website that is easy to update in a fast changing public health crisis- and they did so in 4 days. The California team’s COVID19 response shows we can make it easier for people to access, understand and use digital information and services all while bringing to front a new set of standards in performance, accessibility, and readability.
Prior to this, Tamara founded the Office of Innovation at California Health and Human Services where she has built a team of bureaucracy hackers charged with fixing some of the highest impact, most critical health and human services as well as reforming how state government operates. The OI strategy is dual delivery – it outlines how to build solutions while introducing department staff to modern private sector service delivery methodologies. Over the past 2 years, she has detailed 2 cohorts of 60 public servants, coached them through the iterative product design lifecycle (how to tightly define problems, experiment, iterate and then layer on supportive technologies), and then partnered with various departments across the state of California to improve processes and prototype and deploy solutions. This work has already made a difference on policies and services that matter most to California citizens. As a recent example, Tamara’s team designed and sponsored a customer experience improvement initiative with three cannabis regulatory entities, which led to the creation of Unified Licensing System that streamlines the application and search process. Tamara designed and scaled a customized Office of Innovation Training for state employees focusing on: problem definition, human centered design, prototyping, usability testing, product management, and facilitation to iteratively solve problems.