North Dakota Bolsters Its Leadership Ranks with New C-Suite Hires

State CIO Shawn Riley announced the hiring of two top positions within the Information Technology Department July 19.

by / July 19, 2018
David Kidd/e.Republic

North Dakota has named two new C-level executives for its Information Technology Department: Julie Cabinaw as its first chief reinvention officer (CRO) and Duane Schell as its first chief technology officer, state CIO Shawn Riley announced today.

The state is also searching for a chief data officer (CDO), which along with the two new hires will focus on North Dakota’s plan to reinvent government via technology and improve the way citizens interact with the state’s online and offline presence.

“Technology is key to empowering people, improving lives and inspiring success,” Riley said in a statement. “Our goal is to lead the nation in innovation and a citizen-centric approach to government. Duane’s and Julie’s leadership skills, collaborative approach and understanding of the power of digital and emerging technologies to transform how we do business make them superb fits for these roles.”

Cabinaw will begin her new role on Aug. 20. She comes from the private sector and most recently served as vice president of innovation and business technology for Idaho-based fragrance company Scentsy. Previously, she was a senior manager at Amazon, where she was responsible for Kindle content. She's held similar positions at Hewlett-Packard and Healthwise.

As CRO, Cabinaw will be responsible for “leading teams to uncover and design new experiences at the intersection of technology, innovation and business,” according to a statement from ITD.

“I’m thrilled to join a team that is so focused on enhancing the user experience and finding innovative ways to serve our citizens, and I look forward to finding new ways to make a positive impact,” Cabinaw said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Schell is receiving a promotion from his role as ITD's director of network services, where he has worked since 2009.

He will be responsible for the direction and long-range vision of the state’s IT backbone, such as statewide cloud, computing and network services and providing service management to various stakeholders.

For example, Schell will be responsible for the strategic design, management and implementation of the statewide technology infrastructure, as well as work with state leaders to determine the technologies to transform the state’s service delivery. North Dakota’s IT department provides connectivity and network support to K-12 school districts and higher education, as well as to state government.

“Technology enables so many critical functions for state government, our citizens and our educational system, and I look forward to helping lead efforts to find innovative solutions to help us fulfill our potential as a state,” Schell said in a statement.

Riley, who was named CIO last year, is tasked with carrying out Gov. Doug Burgum’s goal to consolidate and unify 17 cabinet agency IT departments down to one. However, like a number of state CIOs, he has to persuade the legislature of approving the plans. North Dakota’s legislature will reconvene in January.