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Joe Panora

Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government
  • Former director, Enterprise Information Services (EIS), state of California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Former chief information officer, state of California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Former chief information officer, state of California, Department of Youth Authority  
  • Former Customer Service Bureau chief, state of California, State Controller’s Office

Key Areas of Expertise: 

  • Leadership, coaching, mentoring — professional development and growth
  • Implementation of large-scale enterprise solutions (i.e., ERP, correctional solutions)
  • IT strategic planning, IT governance, IT portfolio management, service catalog
  • Managing IT organization across multiple geographic locations
  • Creating a sustainable IT customer relationship delivery support model
  • Managing an IT organization merger/consolidation — both from a culture and technology perspective
  • Data center centralization and consolidation
  • IT Security Program
  • IT Enterprise Architecture Program
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).  
Joe Panora was appointed by California Gov. Schwarzenegger and later 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.
As the EIS director, Joe was responsible for leading an organization with over 650 IT professionals. His team worked to deliver and improve statewide processes for education, rehabilitation, board hearings, health care, and offender/parole/juvenile operations. Also, this included the department’s IT strategic plan, policies, standards, enterprise architecture, procurement, customer service/field operations, and automation efforts. Over his tenure, Joe implemented an IT project portfolio worth over $800 million, which resulted in both a business and IT transformation for CDCR. Significant program and cost efficiencies were achieved as well as enhanced delivery of services.  
Joe has received the following awards: 2014: Cybersecurity Leadership Innovation Award – Leadership Innovators Category (Center for Digital Government); 2013: Named one of Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for his contribution to public-sector innovation; and 2010: Outstanding Technology Leadership Award at the California CIO Academy Awards, a program hosted by Public CIO magazine.
Joe holds a master's degree in Business Administration and Telecommunications, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).