William (Bill) Rials, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government


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. Where he focuses on continually delivering and updating the program curriculum based on innovative and emerging technologies, before transitioning academia and higher education, he had a diverse government technology career delivering value to state agencies, local governments, and law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Mississippi. He has served in CIO, CTO, and CISO roles for local governments and also in various leadership positions within the State of Mississippi’s IT organization as a deputy to the State CIO. Dr. Rials holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Belhaven University, a master's degree in Computer Information Systems and Cybersecurity from Missouri State University, as well as a Ph.D. in higher education administration and public administration from Jackson State University. His dissertation research involved the critical factors that affect the adoption of cloud services within the public sector. He is a noted expert in the IT and Cybersecurity space and frequently quoted by national media outlets. He is also a frequent contributor to national IT government organizations such as NASTD and NASCIO.

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