5 in 5: Megan Hillyard, Salt Lake County’s Director of Administrative Services
Results for America Fellowship Alumni give five answers in five minutes. This month, we caught up with Megan Hillyard, Director of Administrative Services for Salt Lake County, UT.
- Summarize what you do and how you do it.
I lead the Mayor’s Office of Administrative Services where we provide critical internal services, such as information technology, data and innovation, and results-based contracting, that enable agencies to connect with and serve the constituents of Salt Lake County effectively and equitably.
- Share something exciting that you’re working on.
As Salt Lake County works to recover from the pandemic, we are looking to reshape and reimagine the way government operates. Although the last year has presented tremendous challenges, there have also been incredible innovations and new opportunities for the way employees work and provide services to our community. I am helping lead a telecommuting study group that is diving into areas such as human capital management, customer service, and equity that will ultimately shape the future of county government.
- Tell us one thing you learned from someone else during your RFA Fellowship.
The RFA Local Government Fellowship opened my eyes to so many ideas and opportunities. Coming from a government that was just launching a Data and Innovation Office, I learned that it is more important to jump in and start doing the work rather than worrying too much about details. Data and Innovation offices have different names, different org charts and different priorities, but there is always work to be done. As a result, the Salt Lake County Office of Data and Innovation has grown organically into a nimble, sought-after resource that has worked on everything from results-based budgeting and contracting, to organizational process improvement and front-line COVID response.
- If you could wave a magic wand and have any data or evidence, what would it be?
First, I would use my magic wand to create a crystal ball and peek into an ideal future to see how government is run both from an employee and service delivery perspective. Then, I would like the data to support building that future, using the evidence to secure buy-in and funding. Absent the crystal ball and magic wand, we still plan to use the disruption and energy from this past year to harness as much creativity and opportunity as possible.
- What’s the [pick-your-adjective] job you’ve ever had?
The most enjoyable job I have ever had was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia. I taught primary-level English and Math in a rural village. I will never forget watching my elementary students sift through what I considered waste and produce masterpieces, such as toys from old wire and pieces of cardboard. The imagination for reinvention was the best I have ever seen.
Interested in learning more about Salt Lake County’s work? Read the December 20, 2018 case study on Salt Lake County’s creation of Expungement Day to enhance employment opportunities for residents with criminal records.
Megan Hillyard participated in Results for America’s Local Government Fellowship.