During his four-year tenure as Utah’s budget director, Nixon oversaw the state’s $11 billion budget, teaming with CIO Steve Fletcher to successfully consolidate IT services. As a result, Utah is now one of a small handful of states with fully centralized IT operations.

Nixon then headed to Michigan where he now serves as director of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. Since his arrival, he has led major efforts to strengthen the state’s IT operations.

“I saw a state that had been down for over a decade,” Nixon said. “I saw a state that was poised to make a strong comeback.”

And that it has. Earlier this year, the Michigan Legislature approved a $2.5 million innovation fund, which will in part be overseen by Nixon. The fund will be used to execute IT projects that cost in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. Nixon said the projects will help state agencies work together to consolidate and share IT services.

Since Nixon took office, the state also has combined its physical and cybersecurity offices — making both sets of operations technology driven, and he intends to continue pushing the IT realm on all fronts.

“I think that our people are ready for change,” he said, “and I think they’re excited.”

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.