Director, Business Process Improvement Office
Baltimore City Department of General Services
For Babila Lima, the key to his success in work and life is summed up in a commissioned calligraphy painting of a chengyu — a class of four-word idioms that tell a story born from a well-known fable, tragedy or event significant in Chinese history. Lima’s chengyu read, “do shui chuan shi” — dripping water pierces stone.
“The biggest successes and most difficult challenges I have overcome were achieved with the stubbornness of trickling water,” Lima said.
In his role as Director of the Business Process Improvement Office for the Baltimore City Department of General Services, Lima focuses on the business processes behind the delivery of government services to make them more efficient, including the adoption of automation. Like dripping water, Lima has developed an action plan that cuts through the stone, or bureaucratic red tape, of local government. To accomplish this, Lima said he is building a “civic-tech pipeline to identify and groom the next generation of public servants” that will address the public service delivery challenges of the next 20 years.
Outside of his professional role, Lima has volunteered more than 500 hours towards the preservation of the city’s open and green spaces. He spearheaded the city’s first property tax exemption for community-managed open spaces. Lima is also dedicated to improving access to technology education. He regularly participates in Code In The Schools Volunteer Technology Industry Council, the Python for Process Improvement User Group and Code for America brigade events.
From 2010 to 2012, Lima served as an economic development officer for the U.S. Peace Corps in Mongolia, where he organized a campaign to raise funds and awareness about the impacts of coal-burning stoves in rural Mongolia. As part of the campaign, over eight days in the summer, Lima ran 267 miles from the province of Uvurkhangai to the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Lima was awarded the “Athlete’s Glory” medal, the nation’s highest award recognizing athletic accomplishment.