Former Hawaii CIO Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia Returns to Feds

On Oct. 20, Bhagowalia began his position as deputy assistant secretary and CIO of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

by / October 20, 2014
Sonny Bhagowalia, CIO, Hawaii e.Republic/David Kidd

Former Hawaii Chief Information Officer Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia is back in the federal government.

On Oct. 20, Bhagowalia began his position as deputy assistant secretary and CIO of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Bhagowalia replaces Deputy CIO Mike Parker, filling in for former CIO Robyn East, who departed in June.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie noted in a press release that Bhagowalia’s service as a CIO and then as chief adviser on technology and cybersecurity led the state to great success and accolades.

“Sonny has helped Hawaii leapfrog from the back of the pack in technology and cybersecurity to the front of the line, and we are now one of best in the country,” Abercrombie said in the release. “Under Sonny’s leadership, our government transformation program has garnered an unprecedented 25 national awards, including last week’s announcement of his 2014 Enterprise Architecture (EA) Hall of Fame Award for Individual Leadership in EA Practice, Promotion and Professionalization.”

In a 2012 interview with Government Technology, Bhagowalia described a statewide IT inventory as a critical first step in laying the groundwork for a transformative IT strategy to guide not only technology policy, but also business processes across the state.

“Clearly there are a lot of challenges, but I relish the idea that Hawaii has chosen to do it right and I've been entrusted to try to make it happen," he said at the time.

Hawaii was also the recipient of a first place award in the 2014 Best of the Web awards, a project the Center for Digital Government, a sister organization to Government Technology.

As CIO of the Treasury Department, Bhagowalia will manage a $3 billion IT budget and manage technology for 100,000 agency employees.