The Club of 50: Data on State Chief Information Officers

Who are the people leading technology in state government? What career paths do they come from? How long do they stay in position? We gathered data for 206 state CIO terms going back to 1994 to find out.

by / June 3, 2019
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Where Did the Women Go?

There has never been a time when women were close to making up half of state CIOs. But they used to be a lot closer.

From 2006 to 2010, about 20 percent of state CIOs were women (based on all available information for each year). After that, the number steadily dropped, reaching a nadir of 8 percent in 2015. It hasn't changed significantly since. Overall, 17 percent of state CIOs have been women.

Today there are four female state CIOs — Amy Tong in California, Theresa Szczurek in Colorado, Yessica Jones in Arkansas and Stephanie Dedmon in Tennessee. A couple CIO positions are still open.

The two states that have had the most female CIOs are Arkansas and Colorado:

  • Carolyn Osborne was CIO of Arkansas from August 2002 to June 2004.
  • Claire Bailey led Arkansas IT from December 2006 to October 2014.
  • Yessica Jones took over in March 2017 and still holds the position.
  • Kristin Russell served as Colorado CIO from February 2011 to April 2014.
  • Suma Nallapati took on the role from June 2014 to January 2019.
  • Theresa Szczurek holds the job now.

The reasons for the trend are not apparent.

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Ben Miller Associate Editor of GT Data and Business

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.

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