“Debra Lam has been an instrumental member of our executive leadership team working across departments and with agencies and throughout the city,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Debra leaves the City of Pittsburgh with a strong foundation that we will continue to build upon in the years to come. I would like to thank Debra for her service and steadfast commitment to modernizing city government through innovation, sustainability and technology. Debra has had the unique ability to execute our vision, build an effective team, forge strong partnerships and enhance Pittsburgh’s reputation as a leader in inclusive innovation.”
Lam is a Pittsburgh area native and returned to her hometown to work for the Peduto Administration in January 2014 to serve in the role of Chief of Innovation & Performance. Lam and her family will be moving to Atlanta, Georgia, where she expects to continue a career in urban innovation, strategy and management.
“I am honored and humbled to have served Mayor William Peduto and my hometown, the City of Pittsburgh,” said Debra Lam. “It has been an incredible experience and I am grateful to Mayor Peduto for his leadership. We have built an incredible team together and our work around performance management, user-centric design and technology, data-driven decision making, technical infrastructure and urban resilience is unparalleled,” said Debra Lam. “I’d also like to acknowledge and thank the dedicated professionals that make up the Department of Innovation & Performance.”
Guided by Mayor Peduto’s vision, Debra Lam lead the creation and establishment of the Department of Innovation & Performance, whose core mission is to solidify Pittsburgh’s presence as a world class city through the intersection of technology, sustainability and performance.
Lam left her mark on a series of major initiatives and programs including:
- Pittsburgh Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation
- PGH Lab
- Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (An Allegheny County, City of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh partnership)
- Pittsburgh’s enrollment in the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Network
- Inclusive Innovation Week
- Connecting Urban Entrepreneurs (CUE)
- Code for America Partnership
- MyBurgh Mobile Application & 311 Response Center CRM Upgrades
- As well as overseeing technological upgrades to several city departments and resources including: the City Cable Channel, City of Pittsburgh website, Engage Pittsburgh and Beacon
In total, I&P has secured over $2 million in grants and technical assistance under Lam’s leadership, including partnerships with the Rockefeller Foundation, Tech Hire, Envision America and Code for America.
Lam has expanded free public Wi-Fi across the city, supported digital literacy and maker education and instituted more responsive government programs such as the Small Business Resource Fairs. She has been instrumental in forging stronger university partnerships, signing MOUs with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. She was one of founding leaders of the MetroLab Network and sits on their executive steering committee. She has also led some of the international portfolio for the city, spearheading the Chinese Vice Premier’s trip to City Hall, and working with Pittsburgh sister-city, Wuhan, China.
Debra is a World Cities Summit Young Leader and a Leadership Pittsburgh alumni. She has been profiled and has spoken nationally and internationally on inclusive innovation, performance management, data-driven decision-making, and cultural change.