Ulysses Vinson has over 25 years of government service working for two big City mayors and large government agencies. Currently, Ulysses Vinson is the Chief Smart Communities Officer for the County of San Mateo, California. In this first-of-its-kind role, Ulysses is responsible for leading “Smart and Connected Cities” initiatives for the County with an emphasis on regional collaboration and implementation.
In May 2018, Ulysses launched SMC Labs, a regional “smart solutions” innovation center located in the heart of Silicon Valley. The lab is designed to bring together cities, residents, businesses, tech leaders and the start-up community to share resources and work to solve problems. He is also responsible for creating a blue print from which the County and the 22 Cities within the County can build innovative government services on a potential enterprise IoT platform. The goal is to reduce technology silos and enhance innovation beyond traditional geographic borders.
Prior to joining San Mateo County, Ulysses was the Deputy Director/Chief Marketing Officer of the Department of Technology in the City and County of San Francisco. Ulysses led the development and execution of new media strategies that pioneered the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to better engage the community. He was also in charge of web (sfgov), television (SFgovTV) and e-services where he won numerous awards for web content, mobile applications and even an Emmy Award for government television programming.
Ulysses also managed the implementation of San Francisco’s free public wi-fi initiative (#SFWiFi). The project provided free indoor/outdoor wireless services to thousands of public housing dwellers, outdoor coverage to the Market Street commercial and residential corridor, and 35 public parks and plazas throughout the City.
In addition to providing more internet access, Ulysses managed the successful grant application that resulted in $7.9 million federal funds for digital inclusion initiatives that linked thousands of San Francisco’s seniors and at-risk youth to computers, digital literacy and training centers.
As part of his duties as Chief Administrative Officer for the Department of Technology, Ulysses was responsible for all technology contracts, procurement, finance and human resources.
Prior to his work in IT, Ulysses worked as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and Deputy Press Secretary for the Office of Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr, former Mayor of San Francisco. Prior to that, Ulysses worked as Deputy Press Secretary, of the Office of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell. His career began as a Reporter/Anchor for WAOK/WVEE, Atlanta, Georgia’s top radio station.
Ulysses is originally from Long Island, New York and currently resides in the Upper Panhandle neighborhood in San Francisco, CA. Ulysses is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.