Montgomery Losing Its First Innovation Officer

Dan Hoffman is leaving Montgomery County to take a position for the city of Gainesville, Florida.

Montgomery County is losing its first innovation officer. Dan Hoffman, who had been in the job since 2012, is leaving to become an assistant city manager for Gainesville, Florida.

The position is responsible for creating and maintaining strategies and programs that generate innovative ideas. The programs Hoffman oversees try to improve service delivery and create economic development, according to a county description of the position.

Hoffman, a 40-year-old Rockville resident, said that when he was interviewing for the job, he expected to stay for three to five years.

“Due to the nature of this job, you don’t want someone to have it for 20 years. You want someone new to shake up the snow globe and see where flakes fall,” he said. “It needs churn. I’d be doing the county a disservice if I allowed myself to get into a comfortable rut.”

Hoffman’s last day will be June 16.

Gainesville is a city of about 125,000, and it’s home to the University of Florida. It’s in the north-central part of the state, about 120 miles north of Orlando and about 150 miles southeast of Tallahassee.

“The city is small enough that it can be nimble enough, but big enough that I’ll have to stretch to put my arms around it,” he said.

As assistant city manager, he’ll likely oversee public works, parks and recreation, and transportation, but that could change once he gets there as they compare his skill sets with the skill sets of the other assistant city manager, he said.

“Dan has just done a terrific job and has an opportunity to make a signficant advance in his career. I have nothing but the highest praise and the best wishes for him,” Council President Roger Berliner said. “Our county is better for his service.”

Hoffman said his greatest accomplishment for the county was getting the innovation program off the ground. “We’ve actually been able to establish Montgomery County on a national level in the smart cities space,” he said. The county gets mentioned in the same sentence as Boston and San Francisco, he said.

“We’ve been able to take what was a weird enclave in county government and turn it into something that generated value,” he said.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


One Response to “Montgomery Losing Its First Innovation Officer”

  1. Avatar
    On June 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm responded with... #

    Gainesville? FL? Have fun Dan………..

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