Pennsylvania Appoints Rosa Lara as Acting CIO

A replacement for recently exiting Tony Encinias indicates a potential for new directions in the commonwealth.

by / March 10, 2015

Just a few days after the resignation of Pennsylvania CIO Tony Encinias, the commonwealth appointed Rosa Lara as acting chief information officer on March 9. She will act in this capacity until March 23, when John MacMillan will become the permanent CIO and Lara will assume the role of deputy CIO.

Lara has more than 15 years of experience in IT, having also served as director for the Bureau of Application Development, and as deputy CIO for Health and Human Service agencies.

MacMillan brings nearly three decades of IT industry expertise to the CIO’s office, including 18 years with IBM, most recently assisting the state of Ohio with its data center strategy, according to a memo sent to state IT employees. He also served for a decade with federal departments in Canada.

Encinias, upon departing, estimated that the organization was seeking an IT leader who was more closely aligned with the political trappings of incoming Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
Prior to being elected, Wolf highlighted technology (PDF) as a means make government more transparent, to strengthen the local economy, and to promote innovation. Wolf also called for greater civic engagement enabled by new technologies, as well as an increased focus on promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Increasing technology education for veterans and create new tuition grants was identified as a priority, along with other key initiatives that ran through his campaign platform.

Editor's note: This story was updated on March 11 at 2:55 p.m. to include information on John MacMillan's appointment and Lara's role upon his arrival.