Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Washington, DC CDAO Community

Bojan Duric

Chief Data Officer

City of Virginia Beach

Bojan Duric is the Chief Data Officer of the City of Virginia Beach, an 8,000-person organization and the most populous city in Virginia with approximately 460,000 residents. Bojan promotes a data-driven and citizen-centric culture at all levels of the organization. Bojan is responsible for implementing data and information strategies across the enterprise with wide impact not only on Virginia Beach residents, but the whole Hampton Road region.

Prior to this role, Bojan held key roles in financial, operational, supply chain, and sales and marketing analytics for Fortune 500 companies and major government contractors, such as Norfolk Southern, Carlsberg A/S, and ADS Inc. Bojan is an advisory board member with Old Dominion University, Computer Science and Engineering.

Learn more about leaders in the Washington, DC CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

Since my childhood, I have had this strong urge to understand how things work and have not been afraid to break things. I have also been drawn to the artistic side, letting my imagination work its best while putting the broken stuff back and giving it a new, unexpected life. I guess it is a balance of engineering, analytical and artistic inclination. I am not into exact numbers or data points, as much as I have been trying to understand the ‘why’ behind it and present it in a digestible and appealing way to make it actionable. 

After graduating from Computer Science at Rutgers University, I hoped — as many young computer engineers — to work on exciting software development, but ended up getting Excel spreadsheets and excelling in it. I started as a business analyst in the CPG industry working with sales and marketing, where I found myself enjoying and being passionate about working with data. 

It combined my passion for technology, process, and people in the way that someone can express themselves in multiple ways. For a long time, I have been part of business units supporting their capabilities and eventually grew from a one-man shop to oversee departments of various sizes within Finance, Supply Chain, Sales and Marketing, and Information Technology — to the team combining many of these business units as Chief Data Officer.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Being transparent and leading by example. As leaders, we must earn trust. It takes time and courage, and your team appreciates it. So, by being open and transparent, you maintain healthy relationships and clear communication, and by walking the walk and leading by example, you earn the trust.

With disruption being a key theme of the past few years, where do you see your role as a CDAO going in the next 1-2 years?

Data is growing exponentially, and new trends are emerging almost on a daily basis. But I would focus on a few that can make a huge impact on our lives as data consumers, as well as data practitioners, such as data sharing and data privacy. It seems these are on opposite sides, but are not mutually exclusive — rather data ethics inclusive. It does not mean that private data cannot be shared or that sharing means opening up all data. There is governance in place to ensure appropriate levels of privacy and security. It requires a good understanding of existing data compliance, as well as your role to support and enforce data governance processes to enable an organization’s capabilities. 

Data sharing is one way of improving and enriching your data. It also promotes data re-usability and requires strong metadata, data about data. This is a foundation for AI, RPA, and other new and exciting technologies depending on good and reliable data. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDAO?

Establishing rapport with leadership, peers, and teams early will open the communication and help in building the relationships. Do not underestimate or neglect the power of mini-cultures within the separate business units and find a way to promote desirable behaviors with your data champions. It really takes the village.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I am coming from the most exotic and culturally diverse part of Europe, by definition the most misunderstood, the Balkans. 
  2. I enjoy outdoor activities, especially skiing (just an average skier). 
  3. And, I do most, if not all, home and car repairs myself because I do enjoy working with my hands.

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

It is an exceptional opportunity to network and learn from your peers. As an everyday learner, I am always looking for opportunities to learn something. The CDAO role is a new role, and communities such as this where you can meet like-minded professionals and share best practices and either learn new or validate existing ones is an invaluable opportunity.



Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.


by CDAOs, for CDAOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CDAO community.