A week after news broke that former Chief Information Officer Flint Waters was heading to Google, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has appointed a permanent replacement.
Tony Young, Mead’s deputy chief of staff, will take on leadership for the Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS). The department, formed in 2012, is currently in the middle of building out its 100-gigabit Wyoming Unified Network for schools and government, as well as migrating to the cloud.
Though Mead said in a statement that Young has helped with technology projects before, Young’s background is largely legal. Before joining Mead’s office, he led the Wyoming U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Law Enforcement Coordination Committee. Before that, he worked in the Division of Criminal Investigation as a specialist investigating drug trafficking. He holds a degree in criminal justice from Boise State University and worked on Mead’s 2010 election campaign.
Young is also Mead’s agency coordinator.
“He has been an integral part of my effort to enhance technology infrastructure from the Unified Network to the establishment of ETS,” Mead said in the statement. “I believe he will continue Wyoming's reputation as a technology leader and to develop the work of ETS.”
David Bush, a governor's office spokesperson, said Young helped the governor interact with IT efforts in the state. That included the formation of the department, which replaced a previously decentralized system where each agency had its own IT personnel.
“Tony has ... been the point person for technology and things like that here in the [governor's] office as it relates to working with ETS and the former director Flint Waters, just because of Tony’s background having been in computer forensics and things like that in the past," Bush said. "So he’s been a strong adviser for the governor in the past few years.”
According to a statement from Mead, Young is the state’s first certified forensic computer investigator and has experience investigating computer and Internet-related crime.
“I am delighted to have the confidence of the governor and I look forward to working the finest and most professional information technology team in the country,” Young said in the statement.
Waters, who is joining the Google for Work team, served as the first chief of the reorganized technology department as well as the establishment of the Wyoming Unified Network. While leading ETS, the department beefed up its cybersecurity protocols, compiled a library of coding “blocks” to streamline application development, and recently rolled out a GIS portal that brings together data related to the state’s geography, natural resources and other assets.