Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Vikki Smith as interim director of Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech), as the search for a permanent director continues, the governor’s office announced June 29.

Smith, who is currently serving as the Washington State Department of Revenue director, will be taking over the new role as Rob St. John, acting CIO and WaTech director, prepares to retire June 30. St. John had been in the acting CIO role since October 2017, when former CIO Michael Cockrill resigned to take a position in the private sector.

During the search for a permanent WaTech director, Smith will take a leave from the Department of Revenue where she has worked since 1970. She began her career at there as a temporary clerical staff and eventually rose to leadership roles in several divisions at the department. Randy Simmons, deputy director at the Department of Revenue, will fill in for Smith during this period.

The appointment of Smith covers one open and high-profile IT role at WaTech. Agnes Kirk, Washington state’s chief information security officer (CISO), retired on June 1 and her position was filled by acting CISO Phil Davis. But Davis also plans to leave the interim CISO role on July 16 to take a position as CIO of the state’s Department of Financial Institutions.

Previously, sources told Government Technology that the search for a new CIO had been narrowed to a field of approximately 10 candidates and that one of the attributes sought is that the permanent CIO have state experience but not necessary from within Washington state. 

Smith was not immediately available for comment on her new role.