Press release

The Commons Project Foundation Names Minerva Tantoco Chief Operating Officer

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The Commons Project Foundation today announced that Minerva Tantoco, formerly New York City’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer, has been named Chief Operating Officer. In her new role, Tantoco will oversee the growth and expansion of the products and services of the two-year-old nonprofit.

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Minerva Tantoco joins The Commons Project as Chief Operating Officer (Photo: Business Wire)

Minerva Tantoco joins The Commons Project as Chief Operating Officer (Photo: Business Wire)

“We’re pleased to announce the addition of Minerva Tantoco and welcome her to our leadership team as Chief Operating Officer,” said Paul Meyer, CEO and Co-Founder of The Commons Project Foundation. “Minerva is a leading thinker and educator, and a passionate advocate for using technology to transform government, finance, and society.”

In her role as Chief Technology Officer, Tantoco directed the New York City Mayor’s Office of Technology from 2014 to 2016. Under her leadership, New York City was named “2016 Best Smart City” by the Smart City Expo World Congress with initiatives including LinkNYC, CSforAll, and Internet of Things Guidelines. She is a leading advocate for an inclusive, equitable tech ecosystem.

After leaving City Hall, Tantoco co-founded Grasshopper Bank, a nationally chartered digital commercial bank focused on founders, their companies and the investors supporting them. She has also served in executive technology roles at Palm, Merrill Lynch and UBS, and holds four U.S. patents on intelligent workflow.

“Our mission is to provide the kind of top-tier networked digital infrastructure that often comes from de facto monopolies, but as a public-benefit nonprofit focused on serving individuals rather than advertisers or vendors,” said Esther Dyson, executive founder of Wellville, long-time tech investor and board member of The Commons Project Foundation. “Minerva’s leadership will be a great asset as the nonprofit moves forward with this vision to develop indispensable tech for the common good.”

In addition to her role at TCP, Tantoco serves on the boards of the New York Hall of Science and Vyv, is a Board Advisor to Socure, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of International and Public Affairs. She has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg, and Channel Thirteen. She has spoken at HackMIT, Harvard Law School, Women in Data Science, Executive Forum Technology SIG, Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR) Tech Sprint, and is a frequent speaker on technology topics in artificial intelligence at scale, Internet of Things, and transforming financial services.

The Commons Project Foundation and its first project CommonHealth were founded in 2019 to unlock the potential of technology and data for the common good. More recently, The Commons Project has developed CommonPass, an application/data-sharing structure that enables individuals to securely prove their COVID-19 health status for travel and other purposes, without revealing other, extraneous personal data. CommonPass partners with industry leaders in travel, government and tech to ensure that each individual meets the local entry requirements of their destination, and the app has been key as international travel resumes.

About The Commons Project Foundation

A nonprofit public trust established with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, The Commons Project Foundation builds and operates digital platforms and services for the common good. Its mission-driven structure is designed to attract world-class talent to build and sustain digital public services in a way that serves people’s interests above all. Beginning with health information, we are focused on empowering people to access and control their personal data and put it to use for their own benefit.