Debbie Acosta

Chief Innovation Officer, City of San Leandro

As the City of San Leandro’s first Chief Innovation Officer, Ms. Acosta’s task is twofold: (1) develop the Lit San Leandro 10 Gbps fiber optic network as a unique infrastructure tool to attract, expand and retain innovative tech businesses and businesses in need of fast connectivity; and (2) to cultivate a healthy tech and innovation ecosystem designed to attract investment, companies and jobs to San Leandro.   Ms. Acosta has focused on developing public/private partnerships to achieve City Council goals regarding economic, technology and environmental resilience. The most visible success of this strategy is The Gate, the transformation of 400,000+ sf of a former Chrysler Dodge auto plant into the largest 3D desktop printing hub in the world – the Bay Area Advanced Manufacturing group (BAAM). Today, over 3 million square feet of commercial and industrial building space and over 200 businesses are now connected to Lit San Leandro. Recently, the City launched a new public-private partnership with Olidata Smart Cities, OSISoft, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and GELI to create a City-wide distributed renewable energy microgrid.

Ms. Acosta is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, with 12 years as the banking professional in San Francisco, 12 years as a City of Oakland Economic Development professional focused in International Trade and the Innovative Technology sectors, and 1.5 years as an entrepreneur and business development consultant. She became the East Bay and San Leandro’s first Chief Innovation Officer in February 2013, where she now lives with her artist/entrepreneur husband, Gary Branchaud.