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Map: States with CIO Changes in 2017 and 2018

There have been a lot of changes in state IT leadership in the past two years — with plenty more on the way.

In the coming year, there will be a lot of change in state IT leadership. The 2018 midterm elections, which will bring in replacements for at least 17 governors, will ensure that.

But then, there has already been plenty of change at the state level since the last major round of elections in 2016. All told, a map from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers shows that there have been CIO changes at 21 states in 2017 and 2018 — so far.

Those changes have had major implications in the strategy and focus of different states when it comes to technology efforts. To catch up on individual changes, here is Government Technology's coverage of the moves:

2017 Moves

  • Alabama: The fallout of scandal-plagued former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's resignation led to a new governor, Kay Ivey, and a new CIO: Jim Purcell, who was previously the chief operating officer for the state's IT agency.
  • Alaska: Bill Vajda, who served under two presidents, took on leadership for a newly consolidated state IT office.
  • Florida: After CIO Jason Allison unexpectedly left state government to work for a law firm, Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed CTO Eric Larson to take his place.
  • Illinois: Hardik Bhatt, who came to Illinois from the private sector, returned to the private sector. Bhatt took on a position working with the government clients of cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services.
  • Kentucky: After Gov. Matt Bevin's election in 2015, previous CIO Jim Fowler resigned. The office had interim leadership until late 2017, when Bevin appointed retired U.S. Army Col. Charles Grindle to the post.
  • Maryland: After David Garcia vacated the CIO position in January 2017, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tapped one of his senior advisers, Michael Leahy, to lead the office in the interim.
  • Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker reorganized the state's IT organization and kept Mark Nunnelly, the leader of the legacy agency, in charge of it.
  • New York: Two-year CIO Maggie Miller resigned, and about a month later New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed long-time IBM leader Bob Samson to take her place.
  • North Carolina: Incoming Gov. Roy Cooper, who defeated an incumbent governor in 2016, replaced CIO Keith Werner with long-time North Carolina Department of Transportation IT leader Eric Boyette.
  • North Dakota: Incoming Gov. Doug Burgum appointed Shawn Riley, who has IT leadership experience from the Mayo Clinic, as his new CIO.
  • Rhode Island: Coming from the private sector, Bijay Kumar joined Rhode Island's government as not only its CIO, but also its chief digital officer.
  • Vermont: In another election shakeup, new Vermont Gov. Phil Scott reorganized the state IT office and named John Quinn, who was already a state IT leader, to run it.
  • Washington: Michael Cockrill left for a nonprofit.
  • West Virginia: To replace long-serving CTO Gale Given, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice appointed state government veteran John Dunlap.

2018 Moves


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.