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Dallas’ Ex-CIO Zielinski Takes Executive Role With Gartner

The seasoned former CIO of one of the largest cities in the country will take his three decades of federal and local tech know-how and share it as an executive partner for the global company.

Dallas CIO William Bill Zielinski at Digital Cities Summit (1).jpg
Former Dallas CIO Bill Zielinski
William Zielinski, former Dallas CIO, announced Thursday that he’s moved into an executive partner role with Gartner, stated to be the world’s largest IT research and advisory company.

Zielinski takes more than three decades of experience in public-sector technology with him.

“I am excited to announce that I have begun a new position with Gartner Inc. as an executive partner working with U.S.-based state and local executives,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “After 34 years of government service at the federal and local levels, I am thrilled to leverage my experience and passion for public service in this new role. Having been a Gartner client in my prior IT executive roles, I am grateful to be joining a phenomenal team of experienced executive partners who have helped IT executives around the world improve the results they deliver for their organizations.”

He told Industry Insider — Texas last year that he wasn’t quite ready to leave public service upon departing the federal government and chose Dallas, where he served from June 2020 to April of this year.

Zielinski’s career includes stints as assistant commissioner of the IT category for the General Services Administration and the executive lead for implementing the governmentwide Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, and he served as CIO of the Social Security Administration.

“I was thinking about end-of-career aspirations and goals. I didn’t want to leave government — I’m the child of public servants. I wanted to get back into operations where I was much closer to those who I’m trying to serve,” he said. “So where better to do that than in a city, and where better to do that than the ninth-largest city in the nation, right? There was some natural kind of alignment between what I would like to do as I close out my career and opportunities that made themselves available in the city of Dallas.”

Zielinski spoke passionately of Dallas’ IT operations and smart cities projects. When the city suffered a highly visible data breach, Zielinski was confident his team could turn it around in the shortest time possible due to their incident response planning.

“The city employs a formal incident response plan, which defines the detailed steps and processes that must be followed to determine, classify, respond to and remediate an incident,” he reported afterward.

Among milestones, he previously told Industry Insider that a regional public safety radio system would top the list.

“We’ve implemented and launched a brand-new P25-compliant public safety radio system that is a regional deployment. While we are the service provider — we, the city of Dallas, are the ones who are operating that with Motorola, who is our prime vendor — it is actually a partnership. We are utilizing radio tower infrastructure from a multitude of different jurisdictions,” he said. “This system is a significant improvement in the technology that’s available, to not just our folks in the city, but to the entire region.”

This story originally appeared in Industry Insider — Texas, a sister publication to Government Technology.
Rae D. DeShong is a Dallas-based e.Republic staff writer and has worked at The Dallas Morning News and as a community college administrator.