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Alaska Names Its Fourth Acting CIO Since December 2018

An IT veteran in Alaska, Benjamin Shier has taken over as acting CIO with the departure of John Boucher. The leadership change is one of several to occur since CIO Bill Vajda’s departure last year.

Benjamin Shier has been named the acting chief information officer for the state of Alaska. Shier replaces John Boucher, who had been in the post since February. 

The appointment makes Shier the fourth person to hold the acting CIO role since December 2018. Boucher held the title from February to October, which represented his second stint in the role. Paula Vrana served in the position for less than a month before Boucher took over. Vrana replaced Peter Zuyus, who followed Boucher’s first stint in the role. 

The last permanent state CIO was Bill Vajda, who resigned Aug. 28, 2018. 

Shier’s status was confirmed by Deputy CIO Dan DeBartolo during a phone call with Government Technology

According to LinkedIn, Shier has worked in the Alaska Office of Information Technology (OIT) for about two years as well as serving as the interim deputy CIO from January to July.

He is also still the chief technology officer for policy and planning, an OIT position he has served in since February. Prior to the consolidation of the state IT structure, he was director of the state’s Enterprise Technology Services organization for about six months in 2017. 

DeBartolo said a search for a permanent CIO is ongoing. Shier could not be reached for comment.

Jed Pressgrove has been a writer and editor for about 15 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in sociology from Mississippi State University.