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Dallas, Texas, Hires CIO with Roots in Federal Tech

Early in 2020, Dallas appointed Gloria Lopez Carter as an interim CIO after the departure of Hugh Miller. Last week, career federal employee Bill Zielinski started his tenure as Miller's permanent replacement.

Dallas, Texas, skyline.
The city of Dallas, Texas, has chosen Bill Zielinski as its next chief information officer. 

Zielinski replaces Gloria Lopez Carter, who was named interim CIO shortly after Hugh Miller left the position in January.

Zielinski spent 30 years working for the federal government, and for the majority of that time, he performed duties related to information technology. His last position was assistant commissioner of the information technology category for the General Services Administration. He was also the executive lead for implementing the governmentwide Federal Information Technology Acquistion Reform Act and once served as CIO of the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Dealing with "every aspect of IT" on the federal level prepared him for the new job in Dallas, he said, though he is most excited about getting back into community-based service delivery, which is a type of work he did for a local SSA office earlier in his career. 

Zielinski said that he recognizes that service delivery is more important than ever given the impact of COVID-19. The key will be finding out how to work as a city in areas where the digital divide persists. He sees this task as both the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge. 

"We have the obligation to ensure that all the residents of the community have available to them the types of digital serives that they need to conduct their lives," Zielinski said. "The experience we’re having with the pandemic is sharpening that focus."

Cybersecurity will be a focus for Zielinski as well. "The threat environment is increasingly more challenging," he said, adding that it will be critical to understand all the risks that are present in the supply chain. 

Zielinski said he looks forward to collaborating with residents, industry and other stakeholders to improve services.

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.