South Dakota Names Heather Perry Interim BIT Commissioner

Gov. Kristi Noem appointed Perry as the interim information and telecommunications commissioner this week. She replaces outgoing Pat Snow, who held the same post under former Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

by / September 9, 2019
South Dakota Capitol Shutterstock/Joseph Sohm

Effective today, Heather Perry, pictured below, will serve as South Dakota’s interim commissioner of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT).

A Sept. 5 press release from Gov. Kristi Noem’s office confirmed Perry’s interim status. It is unclear, however, if Perry will eventually be named a permanent replacement for outgoing interim commissioner Pat Snow. Sources within BIT and the South Dakota Governor’s Office could not be reached for further detail.

As of today, Snow’s LinkedIn page still shows him as South Dakota’s CIO, though his name is no longer listed on the “Cabinet Biographies” page of Noem’s website.

The press release, which did not mention Snow, indicates that Noem’s decision involved considerations about the fast technological evolution of modern government.

“Innovation happens quickly in today’s world, and the state must continually seek to revitalize and reform our technology capabilities,” Noem said in the release. “Heather’s diverse background will position her to lead in a way that ensures BIT attracts and retains the innovative technological thinkers needed to modernize today’s state government.”

Perry’s background is indeed varied. Prior to her new position, she worked in South Dakota’s Bureau of Human Resources (BHR), providing oversight for the Employee and Organizational Development team. She was also BHR’s director of special projects for three years, and previously directed communications for BHR and the South Dakota State Employee Benefits Program.

Additionally, Perry has 17 years of experience in college athletics. For the PAC-12, she served as associate commissioner for championships and sports administration. She began her career working for the National Collegiate Athletics Association.

Snow, whom Perry replaced, was named interim BIT commissioner by former Gov. Dennis Daugaard early last year after the retirement of David Zolnowsky. Snow continued serving in the position for several months after Noem’s election.

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