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Russ Nichols

Senior Fellow

Russ Nichols’ public service spanned over 32 years and included management and executive positions with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the California State Controller’s Office, and the Employment Development Department.

In 2015, Nichols was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Chief Information Officer and Director of Enterprise Information Services. While serving at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Nichols also served as a board member for the Corrections Technology Association and served as CTA President from 2019 to 2021. In February 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Nichols Deputy State CIO and Chief Deputy Director at California Department of Technology. Prior to retirement, Nichols also served as Acting State CIO and CDT Director for several months.

During his career, Russ won numerous awards including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s 2014 Administrator of the Year, Government Technology’s 2018 CIO of the year, and Government Technology’s 2023 California Public Sector Hall of Fame Award.