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A national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government.

Vice President

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Teri Takai


Teri Takai is the Vice President of the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. She worked for Ford Motor Company for 30 years in global application development and information technology strategic planning. From Ford, she moved to EDS in support of General Motors.

A long-time interest in public service led her to the government sector, first as CIO of the State of Michigan, then as CIO of the State of California, and subsequently the CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense, the first woman appointed to this role. She then served as the CIO for Meridian Health Plan. She is a member of several industry advisory boards.

Teri has won numerous awards including Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year, CIO Magazine’s CIO Hall of Fame, Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers, the Women in Defense Excellence in Leadership Award, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Vice President

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Phil Bertolini


Phil Bertolini is the Vice President of the Center for Digital Government (CDG), a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Previously, he served as deputy county executive and CIO for Oakland County, Michigan.

During his 31-year tenure, Phil built a world-class IT organization in the second-largest county in Michigan, just north of Detroit. As Oakland County CIO, he oversaw more than 150 employees serving over 1.2 million residents. In 2005, he was also promoted to deputy county executive, holding dual positions until his retirement.

Phil’s efforts earned the county national attention, winning numerous awards for technology innovation and excellence. He was named one of Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year and Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers. He was also honored by the President Obama White House as a Champion of Change for 2012.


Center for Digital Government Senior Fellows

The Center for Digital Government (CDG) Senior Fellows are experienced and respected state and local government practitioners and scholars who have demonstrated records of success in support of public service. Sharing their expertise, they write papers, speak at events, moderate webinars and advise both the public and private sector through specific CDG projects and programs.

  • Pete’s local government work began in Columbus OH, where he was the city’s first CIO and established a local CIO networking group. As CIO for the City of Fort Worth he supervised the implementation of an ERP system which replaced over 50 separate systems. Pete’s local government career also included over ten years in Public Transit CIO positions for the Columbus and Cleveland transit agencies. His most extensive volunteer commitment was serving on a large food bank board for seven years (including as President).
  • Mark Askren is an IT executive and leadership coach with 35 years of higher education experience. He most recently served as Vice President and CIO for the University of Nebraska. During this period he was elected to the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors, served as chair of the Internet2 Community Engagement Program Advisory Group, and was a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance for IT. Prior to that he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Administrative Computing Services at the University of California, Irvine, where he was also a member of the University of California’s Information Technology Leadership Council. Mark also held the positions of Assistant Vice President for Application Development and Data Management at the University of Illinois, and Assistant Dean for Information Technology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
  • Bob Bennett is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Digital Government and the founder of B2 Civic Solutions, an international smart cities consultancy firm based in Parkville, Mo. From 2016 to 2019 he served in Mayor Sly James’ administration as the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, Mo. During his tenure, he oversaw the city’s smart city initiatives including a 54-block total digitalization pilot, strategy development for the city and P3-based expansion plans.
  • Kipp Bentley is a senior fellow with the Center for Digital Education. He has been a teacher, a librarian, and a district-level educational technology director. He currently writes and consults from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Christopher Cabaldon led West Sacramento as its mayor for a record-setting two decades, transforming what was a forgotten old-industrial town into what is now the fast-growing, entrepreneurial city at the forefront an emerging American metro—a story told in Governing’s feature “Small City, Big Goals: How an Unconventional Mayor is Beating the System”. The Sacramento Bee reports “West Sacramento is making others jealous. It has the fastest rising median income since 2000 of the 25 communities analyzed and had the fastest rising home values.” Cited as "America's most interesting small city", “America’s most livable small city”, and one of the world's "21 Smart Cities to Watch", West Sacramento under his leadership deployed entrepreneurial strategies to tackle social challenges with how-did-a-little-city-do-that innovations.
  • Louis Carr, Jr. is an executive level information technology professional with over 30 years of IT experience. He has 13 years of executive level and strategic planning experience, and 19 years of IT project management and IT management experience. He has managed annual budgeted up to $200M and has had oversight over as many as 530 IT employees. He has worked for several government agencies as Chief Information Officer, including the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (the largest public utility in the US), the State of Texas Department of Transportation (the largest state DOT in the US) and Clark County Nevada (the largest county government agency in the state of Nevada), the City of Arlington and the City of Las Vegas.
  • Paul Clanton has devoted his career to helping local governments be on the forefront of using technology to increase value delivered to the public. He has over 30 years in various Information technology roles in both the public and private sectors including 20 years leading Information Technology departments. He now helps local governments get the most value from their significant investment in people, process, and technology.
  • Doug Couto has more than 35 years in public-sector executive leadership roles that includes the U.S. Air Force, the state of Iowa (CIO), and the state of Michigan (information officer and DOT CIO). When he moved to the private sector (Citrix and Dell), he continued working with state/local governments and education to maximize the benefits of technologies such as virtual desktops, mobility solutions and cloud computing.
  • Kristen Cox is the world's leading authority on how to apply the Theory of Constraints to governments and non profits. She is perhaps best known for her work as the former Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) for the State of Utah where she orchestrated a 35 percent improvement across Utah's $20B executive branch.
  • Brenda Decker most recently spent five years with IBM as a Director for Global Government Industry services. Prior to IBM, Brenda served in Nebraska state government for 37 years, 10+ years as the state's chief information officer with responsibility for state government computing, telecommunications, public safety radio, and video conferencing. Her expertise leading, transforming and managing large IT organizations has created high-performing teams and partnered cross functional public and private organizations. Her work has garnered both local and national recognition for her contributions to government technology.
  • As the Minneapolis CIO for seven-plus years, Mr. Doll was responsible for all city IT services. He also served as South Dakota's CIO for 15 years with responsibility for all state government computing, telecommunications, radio, and public broadcasting.
  • Matt Federoff served as the Chief Information Officer for the Vail School District in Vail, Arizona for 22 years. He helped open 18 new schools, and was first in his state to provide comprehensive wifi, 1-1 student laptops, and all digital content for instruction. Before Vail, Matt taught high school science for eight years, where he was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 1997. Matt was the 2005 Arizona Technology Director of the Year, a 2007 National School Board Association "20 to Watch”, a 2010 Tech & Learning “100 Future Technology Leaders to Watch”, 2013 Center for Digital Education “40 Top Innovators”, and in 2015 received ISTE’s “Making IT Happen” award. Matt served on Intel’s Education Board of Advisors from 2015-16. From 2018-19 Matt assisted the Tucson Police Department in digitizing their police academy curriculum, earning an “Award of Merit” in 2019. Retired in 2021 after 30 years in public education, Matt lives with his wife and children in the wilds of the Empire Mountains south of Vail.
  • Dr. Ann Lee Flynn, CEO of Flynn Strategies, LLC, provides research, planning, and event management to education companies and non-profit organizations. For 27 years, K-12 education and district leadership were Dr. Flynn’s focus as Director of Education Innovation for the National School Boards Association. Dr. Flynn established NSBA’s “20 to Watch” for emerging ed tech leaders and the Technology Innovation Showcase for start-up firms; hosted more than 75 school district site visits; conducted management audits; developed online courses; directed the T+L Conference and represented the association at global gatherings including WISE in Doha, Qatar. She is a published author and continues to serve on NCTET as a past-Chair for the organization. Dr. Flynn earned her doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Virginia and her BSE and M.Ed. from the University of Arkansas.
  • Bruce High began serving as the Executive Director of Universal Services and CIO of Harris County in 2009. Harris County, Texas is the third largest county government in the United States serving the needs of over 4.2 million citizens covering a 1,780 square mile area and 270 locations.
  • Eric Holdeman is a nationally known emergency manager. He has worked in emergency management at the federal, state and local government levels. Today he serves as the Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR), which is part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER). The focus for his work there is engaging the public and private sectors to work collaboratively on issues of common interest, regionally and cross jurisdictionally.
  • Jim Jorstad is an innovative global force on the effective use of technology in teaching, learning and research. Currently the interim CIO at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he heads a team responsible for providing services to over 1,500 staff and 10,000 students. He has extensive experience in learning space design, strategic social media and deploying major IT technologies. His film and journalist work has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Forbes and NPR and he is the recipient of the 2013 CNN iReport Spirit Award. Jim is also an EDUCAUSE Leading Change Fellow, one of 50 IT professionals chosen worldwide for the award.
  • Jennifer Kent has more than fifteen years of extensive health administration and policy experience in California that spans over three gubernatorial administrations and encompasses both private and public delivery systems. As Director, Kent oversaw the second largest public healthcare system in the nation with an annual budget of over $100B and serving approximately 13 million Californians. She oversaw the administration of twenty-four managed care plans as well as 56 county behavioral health plans. Kent has also held leadership roles in the Health & Human Services Agency and Governor’s offices as well as experience in the private sector as a lobbyist, consultant and association executive.
  • Bryan J. Langley serves as the senior vice president of defense development at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, where he is responsible for developing a strategic plan for long-term state investment in the defense marketspace, with the goal of tripling federal defense investments by December 2024. Bryan served as executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Advisory (HSA) for US DHS. He previously served as global security manager at Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) and as a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton Consulting. He also worked in the White House as the U.S. assistant chief of protocol under the George W. Bush administration.
  • Until September 2007, Bill served as chief of staff to Governors Kaine and Warner of Virginia. As chief of staff, Bill served as the chief operating officer of the commonwealth. In 2005, Governing Magazine named Virginia the “Best Managed State in the Nation” and in 2007, Governing Magazine named him one of the nine “Public Officials of the Year.”
  • Ron Littlefield, a former mayor of Chattanooga, Tenn., is a senior fellow with the Governing Institute and its lead analyst on the City Accelerator initiative. A city planner by career, he also consults to government through Littlefield Associates.
  • Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author. He led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including as enterprise-wide chief security officer (CSO), chief technology officer (CTO) and chief information security officer (CISO). During his distinguished career, he has served both the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities including advising senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Throughout his career he has received numerous national awards including CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
  • Justin Marlowe is a research professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. His research and teaching are focused on public finance, and he has published five books — including the first open-access textbook on public financial management — and more than 100 articles on public capital markets, infrastructure finance, financial disclosure, public financial technology, and public-private partnerships. He is an admitted expert witness in federal and state courts, and has served on technical advisory bodies for the state of Washington, the California State Auditor, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the National Academy of Sciences, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many other public, private and nonprofit organizations. Prior to academia, he worked in local government in Michigan. He is a Certified Government Financial Manager and an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and he holds a Ph.D. in political science and public administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
  • Sean McSpaden is an executive level information technology professional with over 30 years of experience in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. His background includes the start-up and management of several small businesses and he has served on the Board of Directors or in Executive Director positions for several 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Sean’s public service experience includes progressively responsible positions as an IT analyst, and in statewide coordination, management and leadership positions within the Executive and Legislative branches of Oregon state government. From June 2008 to September 2013, served as the state of Oregon’s Deputy State Chief Information Officer.
  • Dewand is the chief operating officer for Eleven Fifty Academy. He spends every day helping the Academy to realize its mission, which is to transform the lives of individuals and communities through the discovery of purpose, development of values, immersive relevant 21st-century skill training and thoughtful community programs. Previously, Neely spent 15 years serving in state government, with the last four years of his state tenure as director of the Indiana Office of Technology and the state chief information officer, a role he was appointed to by both Gov. Mike Pence and Gov. Eric Holcomb. He has held executive committee and director roles on the board for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and served as an external advisory board member for the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security. He is currently a foundation board member for Goodwill. Neely received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University’s School of Technology and his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.
  • Sergio Paneque has led some of the largest government procurement organizations, most recently as the chief procurement officer for the state of New York. In this role, Sergio managed a portfolio of more than 1,400 contracts valued at over $16 billion. Prior to his tenure in Albany, Sergio was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as the chief acquisition officer for the city of New York and also served as the director of procurement in Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
  • Joe Panora has over 34 years of state public service with 14 years serving in correctional safety/public safety law enforcement as IT director/chief information officer (CIO). Panora was appointed by California Gov. Schwarzenegger and later by Gov. Brown to serve as director of Enterprise Information Services (EIS) for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) since January 2008. During his career, Joe has also served for the following departments: Caltrans, Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, State Controller’s Office and California Youth Authority. Joe retired from state service as the director of EIS for CDCR in December 2014. In January 2015, Joe formed Panora Associates Inc.
  • For 15 years, Dugan Petty served in Oregon state government. His goal was to improve its effectiveness at the enterprise level. He served as the state’s chief information officer for six years. His collaborative leadership led to a new e-government delivery system, open government applications, strengthened security, and improvements in IT governance.
  • Kecia is a strategic thinker and a proven leader in K-12 transformation. Her career includes designing technology within the Frist Art Museum and directing technology research through Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Science Outreach programs. She was appointed as a turnaround agent by the Tennessee Commissioner of Education and established award-winning instructional technology programs recognized by the USDOE and Harvard University while in that role. Dr. Ray was named "20 to Watch" by the National School Board Association, an ISTE Making IT Happen recipient, and most recently a Top 100 EdTech Influencer by EdTech Digest.
  • William (Bill) Rials, Ph.D., is a professor and associate director (department chair) of the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement IT and Cybersecurity Program. He focuses on continually delivering and updating the program curriculum based on innovative and emerging technologies. Before transitioning to academia and higher education, he had a diverse gov tech career delivering value to state agencies, local governments, and law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Mississippi.
  • With over 40 years of a wide variety of experience in technology and management, Bill Ryan has dedicated his career to Anne Arundel County, Md. Most recently, as chief information officer, Bill was responsible for all operational and strategic information technology functions for the county, providing services to county, library, school board and community college employees at over 300 facilities. One of Bill’s primary and highly visible tasks was ensuring that all county government entities and citizens received the full benefits of a multi-year, robust fiber-optic network implementation — owned and operated by the county.
  • Tom Ryan has recently retired from Santa Fe Public Schools, in New Mexico, as Chief Information and Strategy Officer. He has co-founded, K12 Strategic Technology Advisory Group, to assist district leaders deliver educational success with technology, which is led by experienced school technology leaders. He has expertise in strategic planning and leadership, designing digital learning environments, technology infrastructure reviews.
  • Sonny recently retired from the position of CIO of Montgomery County, Md., where he led digital transformation efforts for almost eight years. He leveraged the county’s 300 technology staff and annual technology budget of over $200 million to successfully develop and implement strategies that enabled the digitalization of many of the county’s 350 services in almost every functional area from public health and transportation to telecommunications and public safety. He was also responsible for justifying capital budgets for large modernization efforts in key constituent service areas. During his tenure as CIO, many of Montgomery County’s technology programs were consistently nationally recognized.
  • Jabari Simama, Ph.D., is a seasoned educator, executive, and former elected leader, having served for decades in Georgia and as its liaison in Washington, D.C., and demonstrating a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and cultural competence. Educated at Harvard, Emory and Atlanta universities, Dr. Simama is the former president and CEO of Georgia Piedmont Technical College and chief of staff and deputy COO of DeKalb County, Ga. Earlier in his career, Simama was elected to the Atlanta city council where he served as a councilman from 1987 to 1994. He also worked as a professor, instructor, educator, and producer in academic and industry settings during those years. A prolific writer, he produced and presented a steady catalog of books, journal articles, conference presentations, sponsored publications, and magazine articles. Simama is currently a columnist for Governing.
  • Deborah is an accomplished C-level executive, influencer and educator who has dedicated her career to improving state and local government services for the citizens of New York state through policy and technology innovation. She has a broad range of experience in government, policy, cybersecurity, privacy and information technology. She recently retired from the position of New York state’s chief information security officer, where she led the state’s cybersecurity programs and directed the NYS Cyber Command Center. She works with organizations and universities to strengthen cybersecurity defenses and preparedness, and to create and inspire the next generation of cyber leaders.
  • For more than 25 years, Harold Tuck has dedicated his career to the county of San Diego. Most recently, as chief information officer, Tuck was responsible for all operational and strategic information technology functions for the county, providing services to 17,000 county employees at over 200 facilities. One of Tuck’s primary and highly visible tasks was ensuring that county government and its citizens received the full benefits of a multi-year, $700 million IT Outsourcing Contract, making the county the first municipal government to outsource all IT functions to the private sector.
  • Mark Weatherford is a globally recognized information security professional with experience at some of the world’s largest public- and private-sector organizations. He was appointed as the first deputy under secretary for cybersecurity at DHS in the Obama administration and was chief information security officer for the state of Colorado and for the state of California under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Scott Wilcox recently retired from the New York State Police after a thirty year career. At the time of his retirement, he was a Lieutenant Colonel and a member of the agency’s executive committee. One of Scott’s primary responsibilities was developing and managing the agency’s technology strategy. To accomplish this, he built and led high-performance teams that provided the agency’s technology governance, project management, service delivery, support, vendor management, portfolio management and information security. During his tenure, the agency initiated multi-year projects to replace its Records Management System (RMS), overhaul in-car technology and adopt body worn cameras. Scott also participated in the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) governance process as the CJIS Systems Officer (CSO) for New York state and as a member of the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board (APB). As CSO, he also worked closely with New York state IT and criminal justice partners to govern and ensure the delivery of shared criminal justice information services in New York state. Scott has also served as an Information Security Officer for the New York State Police and for the FBI CJIS process in New York state.
  • Alan Williams graduated from Rickards High School in 1993 and earned his B.S. and M.B.A. degrees in business administration from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).
  • Bob was the chief technical architect for the state of Utah’s Department of Technology Services, including the development of the state’s Utah.gov portal. Utah has been widely recognized in these areas with numerous national awards. He has also been a technical lead and RFP writer for the WSCA/NASPO Cloud and Data Communication Procurements. He has experience with state, county and higher education employee skill assessments and technology upgrade implementations, including large-scale database migrations from RDMS to NoSQL platforms. He has extensive private-sector experience with Microservices Architecture implementation and DevOps using hybrid cloud deployment patterns.
  • Morgan is an internationally recognized expert on cybersecurity strategy, cyberterrorism, identity theft and privacy. Morgan's landmark testimony before Congress on Healthcare.gov changed how the government collected personally identifiable information. He currently is an adviser to the U.S. Congress House Science, Space and Technology Committee. He’s made hundreds of appearances on national news, radio, print and the Web, and has spoken to audiences around the world. Previously, Morgan was a senior advisor in the U.S. State Department Antiterrorism Assistance Program and senior law enforcement advisor for the 2012 Republican National Convention. In addition to 18 years in state and local law enforcement as a highly decorated state trooper and detective, Morgan has developed solutions in defense, justice and intelligence for the largest technology companies in the world including Cisco, Unisys and SAIC. He’s a contributing author for the 4th Edition Computer Security Handbook, and has been quoted in two New York Times best sellers (Sharyl Attkisson: Stonewalled, and Carmine Gallow: Talk Like TED).
  • Steven Zink is an emeritus faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he served as the university’s first vice president of information technology. From 2011 to 2016, he served as vice chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education, the coordinating body for all public institutions of higher education in Nevada.