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Jennifer Ricker to Step Down as Illinois CIO Next Week

Ricker, the CIO and secretary of Illinois’ Department of Innovation and Technology, will leave the role next week. Ricker has served as Illinois CIO for just under two and a half years, seeing the state through COVID-19.

Illinois CIO Jennifer Ricker .jpg
Government Technology/David Kidd
Jennifer Ricker, a longtime fixture of Illinois executive agencies, will be stepping down as state CIO at the end of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s first term, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Pritzker’s term officially ends on Jan. 9.

“During her tenure, Ricker led (the Department of Innovation and Technology’s) efforts in expanding remote work capabilities for the state workforce and implementing pandemic-related systems and enhancements to facilitate virtual state services for residents,” reads a press release from the governor’s office.

Prior to becoming state CIO, Ricker was chief of staff and acting assistant secretary in DoIT. She has worked in Illinois government for more than 20 years, having previously served in leadership roles at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Office of the Governor and the Department of Revenue, according to her LinkedIn.

In addition to helping the state transition to a hybrid workforce due to COVID-19, Ricker has helped to lead Illinois’ modernization effort. She finalized the state’s transition to a new enterprise resource planning finance platform and began the process of upgrading the state’s human resources systems, which impact more than 50,000 employees statewide.

At this year’s National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) conference, she told Government Technology that she’s also been working to create more pathways into the state IT workforce.

“In a lot of cases, we’re going back and eliminating bachelor’s, four-year degree requirements if they’re in there,” she said. Ricker later added that DoIT is also revamping training programs, internships and the titles that new hires receive as well as working with community colleges.