Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Southern California CDAO Community

Tom Mullen

Chief Data Officer

Riverside County

Tom Mullen is the Chief Data Officer for the County of Riverside, California - one of the nation's largest counties serving approximately 2.5 million residents across an area that stretches from Arizona to within 20 miles of the Pacific Ocean. Tom leads the county’s efforts to improve access to data for better decision-making, transparency and services by identifying, sharing, analyzing and visualizing enterprise and departmental data.  

Learn more about leaders in the Southern California CDAO community here.

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

Growing up I worked in a small hamburger joint, cleaning swimming pools and a specialty sporting goods store. These experiences fostered a strong desire to serve others, leading me to military service and ultimately to a long career in local government.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

In order to be a good leader, you must also be a good follower. A leader must build and maintain good relationships with those they lead and serve, building on a shared commitment of trust, mutual accountability and drive to delivering organizational goals.

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

Many of the themes and principles of good data utilization are now part of many of our key departments, including healthcare, law enforcement, budget and finance and social services.  The integration of data from these disparate sources is the next frontier to overcome.

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

Look for the big picture and share it. 

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. Raced in the Baja 1000 twice, with one class win.
  2. Wrapped a 14-story building in red tape in order to host a ‘cutting through the red tape’ ceremony.
  3. Enjoy a wide variety of music from classical, jazz, ‘80s rap and alternative, to electronic dance music (EDM).

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

Evanta provides the opportunity to connect with executives in our field from other industries located throughout our region.



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

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