Michigan CIO David Behen to Step Down, Assume Role in Private Sector

Gov. Rick Snyder announced June 2 that Behen's last day as CIO is June 16.

by / June 2, 2017
David Kidd/Government Technology

After serving for six years as Michigan's CIO, David Behen will step down on June 16 to pursue an opportunity with a global company headquartered in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday, June 2.

Behen, who became director of the state's Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) in 2014 upon then-director John Nixon's departure, has made a significant impact on Michigan IT since stepping on board.

When he took the CIO post in February 2011, a decade of economic turmoil left the state with many ancient systems in need of upgrade, so his first few years were spent creating a new strategic technology plan and identifying nearly 20 projects in need of replacement and enhanced automation — needs that were matched to multiyear tech funding in the state budget.

Over the years, Behen has led efforts to move email into the cloud, embark upon data center modernization, overhaul procurement and deploy a new statewide ERP system.

“David has been a champion for the residents of Michigan and how they interact digitally with their government,” Gov. Snyder said in a press release. “His passion for customer service and technology has changed the way government services are delivered to be more effective, efficient and accountable. David has been a great leader, innovator and public servant for Michiganders and I wish him well in his new endeavor.”

A current project is the DTMB's efforts to combine mobile-first, big data and cybersecurity with MiPage — what Behen described at the 2017 NASCIO Midyear Conference as a concierge for state government services that is personalized and predictive. And protecting the data within MiPage is top of mind, which is why the state plans to release an RFP for the Cyber Threat Analytics Center, where predictive analytics will show officials what threats the state will face next.

Behen was named one of Government Technology's Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in 2013, and under his IT leadership, Michigan was one of just a few states that received an "A" grade in the Center for Digital Government's* 2016 Digital States Survey.

“Public service is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in life and I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to make a difference for this great state,” said Behen. “Through the great leadership of Gov. Snyder, and working alongside my fellow public servants at DTMB and throughout state government, we were able to accomplish some amazing feats that have improved the lives of Michiganders. I know that more great things are in store and I’m proud of the role that I’ve been able to play.”

Current Chief Deputy Director Brom Stibitz will serve as interim director of the DTMB until a permanent replacement is named.

*The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, Government Technology's parent company.