After Two Years, New York State CIO Will Step Down, State Says

Two years after being appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state's Chief Information Officer Maggie Miller will step down.

by / February 10, 2017
Jane Shauck

Just more than two years after her appointment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Maggie Miller, New York’s chief information officer, will be stepping down.

Miller tendered her resignation on Wednesday "in order to pursue other opportunities," the Office of Information Technology Services confirmed.

She will stay on through March 31, and the agency will conduct a search for her replacement, OITS said on Friday, Feb. 10, in a statement.

"We thank Maggie for the significant progress achieved during her tenure and her service to the people of New York State," OITS said.

The New York state CIO’s Twitter feed, @NYStateCIO, made no indication of the shake-up as of Friday morning, and Miller’s LinkedIn page still listed her as state CIO.

The reasons for Miller’s impending departure are unclear. However, her two years leading information technology in New York haven't been without controversy.

Handed a mandate from the governor to transform state IT and reinvent its programs, Miller, the former CIO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, planned big changes following her appointment in December 2014.

By the summer of 2015, more than 3,000 agency IT staff were transferred to New York’s central Office of Information Technology Services. The state created eight new “cluster CIOs” to oversee technology in related groups of agencies, then report to Miller.

New York also consolidated 50 data centers into a new facility in a partnership with the State University of New York.

But, as they have in virtually every sector, generational retirements hit New York ITS hard and Miller found her hands were tied.

Almost exactly one year ago, Miller warned of an impending staffing crisis in testimony to the state Legislature.

New York staffers, she said then, were locked into “skill silos,” and as state ITS loses staff to retirement — an estimated 25 percent of its employee base over the next few years — they can’t be directly replaced because union rules forbid hiring anyone higher than entry level from outside state government.

Confronted with a projected drop in the experience level for senior state technologists from 40 to 11 years, ITS responded by boosting its number of third-party contractors steeply, from 164 to 849.

That generated, Miller and a legislative panel agreed, a significant cost of $245 million annually — and was reportedly not a popular decision.

Theo Douglas Staff Writer

Theo Douglas is a staff writer for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes covering municipal, county and state governments, business and breaking news. He has a Bachelor's degree in Newspaper Journalism and a Master's in History, both from California State University, Long Beach.