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Amazon Web Services Has Hired Four Former State CIOs

Such a concentration of former state tech leadership in one company is unusual, but AWS is also the largest cloud provider around and has offered government-focused services for a long time.

At least four former state CIOs are now working at Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing arm of Amazon, and three of them have joined the company in the past year.

Craig Orgeron, the long-time Mississippi CIO, is the most recent addition to AWS, which runs a federally approved cloud specifically for government. He joined AWS as an “executive government advisor” in August, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He follows former CIOs Chuck Grindle of Kentucky and Morgan Reed of Arizona, who joined AWS in March and September, respectively. Both hold the same title as Orgeron.

Hardik Bhatt, who led Illinois’ IT department and also spent time as the CIO of Chicago, has been at AWS longer than any of them — he took on leadership of AWS’ digital government business in September 2017.

AWS more or less popularized cloud computing and is widely considered the biggest player in the field. It serves up computing resources to many governments for many purposes, and has hosted innovation competitions for the public sector.

Though many state CIOs find themselves in high demand after departing government, such a concentration of former state government IT leaders at one company isn’t common. Only about half of state CIOs go to the private sector right after stepping down, and they take roles at a wide variety of corporations such as consultancies, data firms, television companies and robot makers.

Government Technology reached out to AWS for this story, but did not receive comments by press time.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.
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