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Florida Governor Selects State Lawmaker as Next CIO

Jamie Grant, who has worked in health-care IT and has served as a state representative since 2010, will be the new IT lead for the state of Florida, the governor's office announced Thursday.

Aerial view of the Florida state Capitol complex.
Florida state Capitol complex.
The state of Florida has chosen Jamie Grant, a sitting state representative, as its newest chief information officer. Grant, who recently announced he would not be seeking re-election, will take over as the state's IT lead following his resignation from the Legislature sometime in the next two weeks.

Gov. Ron Desantis' office announced the appointment Thursday and a member of Grant's staff confirmed with Government Technology that he would soon be transitioning to the new role.

Grant, who will be the state's first full-time CIO since the departure of Eric Larson in January of 2019, will be in charge of heading IT operations for Florida's new Digital Service. The FDS will be "focused on implementing Gov. DeSantis’ cloud-first policy initiative, transforming aging legacy systems using agile methodologies, and strengthening Florida’s cybersecurity response," according to a press release.

Additionally, the Governor's office noted Grant's relevant private experience working as "a senior solutions architect as well as technology strategist in medtech, blockchain, and Software as a Service." 

As a legislator, Grant played a lead role in Florida's most recent IT reorganization. Until recently, the state's chief IT agency was the Division of State Technologies (DST) within the Department of Management Services (DMS). In January, however, Grant introduced and sponsored HB 1391, which abolished the DST and replaced it with two new, separate offices within DMS: the Florida Digital Service (FDS) and the DMS Division of Telecommunications.

Grant said in a past conversation with GT that he hopes the FDS will find inspiration in the U.S. Digital Service — the elite technology unit created under the Obama administration that oversees modernization efforts throughout the federal government.

“I’m honored to lead the charge for digital innovation in Florida and excited to leverage technology to problem solve and rapidly respond to individuals, families, and businesses seeking to engage with state government,” said Grant, in a statement. “Through new technology, top talent, and private and public sector collaboration, we will fundamentally change the way we serve and communicate with the people of Florida.”

Initially elected to the legislature in 2010, Grant served through 2014, and was then re-elected in a special election in 2015

According to his Linkedin, Grant has significant IT experience. He currently works as the chief strategy officer for ReViable Surgical, a company that specializes in automated suturing technology, and has held other positions in the IT health-care field. He is the co-founder of CareSync, a health management technology firm, which closed its doors in 2018.

Lucas Ropek is a former staff writer for Government Technology.