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Lea Deesing

City of Riverside
Chief Innovation Officer
Riverside, CA
Lea Deesing serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Riverside, California where she manages a team of 60 very talented Information Technology Professionals. She also serves as the Executive Director of SmartRiverside, a nonprofit which aims to narrow the digital divide in her region by empowerment through education and technology. Lea’s professional experience includes 30 years in the Information Technology field with 20 years specific to local government. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems degree from the University of Redlands. Lea also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Lea belongs to a number of professional organizations and advisory boards and has received national recognition for her articles and speeches on career advice, social media, cybersecurity, project management, and technology use within government. Prior to moving into her executive leadership role, Lea’s background was in computer programming. Her love for programming originated from her fascination with codes and ciphers, known as cryptology. She cracked the Tiger Beat Magazine’s fan club secret code when she was just nine years old. When she was sixteen, Lea started programming computers. Lea regularly speaks to young students, hoping her story will inspire them to become interested in the computer science field. (For more information, visit www.linkedin.com/in/leadeesing/.)