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Arkansas Governor Pulls New CTO from the Private Sector

Jonathan Askins has been named director of the Division of Information Services within the Department of Transformation and Shared Services. He replaces Yessica Jones, who left for an opportunity in the private sector.

The Arkansas Capitol Building
The Arkansas Capitol Building
Shutterstock/W. Scott McGill
Arkansas looked to the private sector for its next chief technology officer, naming Jonathan Askins as the next director of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services' Division of Information Services. 

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“In his [Askins] career, he has been a team builder, a business developer, a problem solver and a crisis manager. He is everything you look for in a leader, and DIS has great days ahead,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson, in a statement

Askins replaces Yessica Jones, who departed state service at the end of November after serving in a number of technology roles since 2014. She stepped down to pursue an opportunity in the private sector. 

The incoming CTO most recently served as director of Expert Client Management at Acxiom, an Arkansas-based technology company. His familiarity with state government dates back to 1998, when he worked with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to grow tourism in the state. 

“My wife, Leigh Anna, and I have been blessed by the state of Arkansas through a number of programs that have helped our children, and I was thrilled for this opportunity to repay a state that has given us so much,” Askins said in a statement.

Askins' career spans more than 25 years in operations, business development, management and contact negotiations according to the state. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.
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