North Dakota Adds a Chief Data Officer to Its List of Recent Hires

CIO Shawn Riley said the state has hired longtime private-sector tech executive Dorman Bazzell as its inaugural chief data officer.

by / October 4, 2018

The state of North Dakota has been busy unifying its shared services and moving to cloud under Gov. Doug Burgum, but it’s also been expanding the tech wing of its C-suite and has hired its first-ever data czar.

On Oct. 3, North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley announced longtime private sector tech executive Dorman Bazzell will be the state’s inaugural chief data officer. He’ll be charged with “overseeing the enterprise information management program as well as software development,” the state said in a news release.

Bazzell, who most recently was a solution principal at Slalom Consulting, will join the North Dakota Information Technology Department (ITD) on Oct. 15.

Prior to his time at Slalom, Bazzell served as practice lead for insights and analytics at Hitachi Consulting; as an emerging tech and advanced analytics practice leader at Capgemini; and as CIO at Coin Acceptors, according to LinkedIn. He was also a member of the Operational Excellence Association Board at Washington University in St. Louis for about 18 months in 2010 and 2011, but his new position appears to be his first foray into the public sector.

At ITD, Bazzell joins Julie Cabinaw, the state’s first chief reinvention officer, and Duane Schell, its first chief technology officer, whose hirings were announced July 19. Riley praised Bazzell’s experience and said the hiring of the newest member of “Team North Dakota” is another step toward a dramatic shift in how the state serves residents.

“Transforming how we serve citizens begins with how we leverage data and technology. Dorman brings phenomenal technical, business and leadership acumen and will be a fantastic addition to Team ND as we work across state government to empower people, improve lives and inspire success,” Riley said in a statement.

The three new C-level execs, whose jobs were created using existing unfilled positions, will be “integral to implementing strategic priorities,” the state said, including “reinventing government and harnessing technology” to serve residents. Bazzell, whose resume includes innovation strategy work as well as data warehouse optimization and data governance, said organizations’ ability to translate data into knowledge, insight and action “offers tremendous opportunity,” in a statement.

“I’m excited for this once-in-a-lifetime role working with Team ND to pursue a 360-degree view of citizens that will enhance our ability to deliver services more effectively and efficiently,” he said.