Gov. Christine Gregoire named Tony Tortorice the CIO of Washington state on Tuesday, effective July 1.

Tortorice, the CIO of the Los Angeles Unified School District, replaces former state CIO Gary Robinson, who retired from Washington's Department of Information Services (DIS) four months ago. The department has approximately 450 employees.

Before working for L.A. Unified -- the nation's second-largest school district - Tortorice was also an IT executive for the Los Angeles Community College District, the largest system of community colleges in the U.S., according to a news release from Gregoire's office. Tortorice was also a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Tortorice has also served in the U.S. Navy, during which time he installed his command's first word processing system, according to the governor's office.

"Information technology has tremendous potential to improve government's services to citizens. I came to work for Gov. Gregoire because of her commitment to tap that potential," Tortorice said in a statement.

DIS deputy director Jim Albert was the state's interim CIO after Robinson's departure. The panel that interviewed candidates for the vacant state CIO post included former Boeing CIO Scott Griffin. Boeing's headquarters is in Seattle.

Gregoire and the state Legislature spared a new state data center from cuts made to Washington's most recent budget. It will bring the DIS under one roof for the first time, and is slated to be 240,000 square feet of office space. A state Senate bill that would have eliminated the DIS also failed to gain traction earlier this year.

Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor