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Vegas city manager named senior VP of Switch smart city division

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Elizabeth Fretwell likes clean energy and clever infrastructure. Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Fretwell, Las Vegas city manager of eight years, will be leaving her government post in July to join the executive board of the smart city division of data center provider Switch. Launched earlier this year, the Switch Smart division is integral to the company’s goal to pioneer the development of so-called smart cities; by integrating ICT and IoT into urban infrastructure, the company aims to create more efficient, automated urban spaces.Lucky Betsy Fretwell, soon-to-be senior VP of Smart, has been a member of Vegas’ local government for 17 years. As an appointed city manager, she advocated and advanced connected infrastructure to drive the local economy.

Under her leadership, Las Vegas was selected by What Works Cities, a Bloomberg initiative offering grants to cities committing to improve council services and involve local residents in policy implementation through the use of data. It was also under Fretwell that, in December, Las Vegas city officially transitioned to 100 percent clean energy, using solar power from the newly-built Boulder Solar I plant and hydroelectric power from the Hoover Dam in Colorado. The city manager is eligible to retire from her post, and US law does not forbid the transition of government officials from office to corporations or their boards.

Switching

Fretwell’s role at Switch will be much like her current position, in that she will be charged with “the strategic development, implementation and national expansion of Switch’s vision to integrate all aspects of smart city development,” which she appears to have supported for some time. Kristi Overgaard, executive VP of Switch stated that “Betsy will bring her unique experience managing the renowned City of Las Vegas for the last eight years to drive innovation and technology integration for cities, not only in Nevada, but across the country.”

If Smart is successful, Switch will have established a foothold in every aspect of the Internet’s infrastructure, from hyperscale colocation compounds – such as the company’s 2.4 million sq ft Las Vegas campus – to its superloop fiber network, cloud, mitigation and interconnection services and industry-specific training programs.

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