Carolyn Parnell, currently the chief operating officer for IT services for the Minnesota System of Colleges and Universities, has been named Minnesota’s state CIO, Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Parnell will also head the state’s Office of Enterprise Technology. She replaces Gopal Khanna, who retired from public service late last year.
According to Dayton’s office, Parnell has 25 years of experience with technology organizations. Her prior positions include IT leadership posts with Minnesota Public Radio, the University of Minnesota and Fidelity National Information Systems.
“Carolyn Parnell has been a very effective leader and strategic thinker in her role as chief operating officer for Information Technology Services,” said James H. McCormick, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, via a statement Tuesday. “While we will miss her, we are confident we will continue to benefit from her good work at the Office of Enterprise Technology.”
Dayton’s Chief of Staff Tina Smith lauded Parnell’s credentials and her ability to manage large technology organizations. “She’s a strong, effective manager who gets results, and she understands how technology can be a valuable tool in making Minnesota state government work for residents,” Smith said.
Prior to her career in IT, Parnell worked as a child protection social worker in various Minnesota cities and counties, according to a statement from Dayton.