The state of Montana has found its next chief information officer within the organization, promoting a longtime agency CIO to the top position.
Gov. Steve Bullock announced on July 3 he has appointed Tim Bottenfield, whose background in public-sector IT spans 30 years, as Montana’s new CIO. He replaces former CIO Ron Baldwin as the state’s lead technology official and head of its State Information Technology Service Division (SITSD).
Bottenfield comes to SITSD from the Montana Department of Revenue, where he had been CIO since 2011 according to his LinkedIn profile. He started work on July 2, the state said in a news release. Before joining the Department of Revenue, he was IT manager at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University in Alabama from 1986-2011.
Amber Conger, communications director for Montana’s department of administration, said Bottenfield was “selected in part due to his successful tenure” as Department of Revenue CIO.
“It was a nationwide search process that was very competitive,” Conger said via email.
Bottenfield’s main initiatives as CIO will originate from goals outlined in the state’s strategic IT plan, Conger said. These include using best practices to enhance information security and protect IT assets cost-effectively; implementing scalable tech to meet customer demand at minimal capital cost; and leveraging public-private partnerships to shrink the cost of state data center operations.
In a statement, Bullock — who previously appointed Baldwin as CIO in January 2013 — cited Bottenfield’s previous experience at the state.
“I am looking forward to working with him to ensure that Montana continues to be a leader and utilize IT in secure, efficient and effective ways,” the governor said.
Bottenfield, who has also been a board of directors member at local credit unions and done IT consulting internationally, said he looks forward to serving the state in his new role.
“I don’t take this new responsibility lightly and am committed to ensuring the state of Montana remains a leader in the digital age,” he said in a statement.
The state has a history of promoting from within. Baldwin was CIO at Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services before becoming state CIO. He presided over an executive branch-level infrastructure consolidation the governor initiated by executive order in 2016. That initiative has saved more than $1.6 million per year, according to state officials. Baldwin stepped down as CIO in January after five years in the position to take a job at the international consulting firm Deloitte.
Montana Chief Technology Officer Matt Van Syckle served as interim CIO prior to Bottenfield’s appointment.