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Kansas Gets Private-Sector IT Exec Eric Davis as Its New CTO

The appointment was made days after new Gov. Laura Kelly announced that she would retain as state CIO Lee Allen, who took over the position in July and is working to modernize and secure state IT.

Kansas' newly elected governor has appointed a veteran private-sector IT executive, Eric Davis, as the state's chief technical officer (CTO).

Davis joins a state gov tech and innovation team currently engaged with modernizing, optimizing and securing IT there. Earlier this month, Gov. Laura Kelly announced that Lee Allen, who served as chief information technology officer under the previous administration, would be retaining his position moving forward.

Davis has essentially been recruited from the private sector, where he had held senior IT positions for Fortune 500 companies and consulting firms. In a press release detailing the appointment, the state noted he has been closely involved with establishing service-based IT strategies for Capital One and developing and restructuring IT framework for major companies like United Airlines and Delphi as they emerged from bankruptcy.

The press release also noted that Davis will be tasked with private-sector IT strengths such as optimizing delivery and business alignment for consolidated services to internal state agencies. Davis is also charged with executive leadership for Executive Branch Information Technology (EBIT) technical teams, and will work with vendors to make sure the state is getting the most out of those relationships.

As CTO, Davis will also be involved in working with other leadership in the state on building its innovation plans for the future.

“I am pleased that Eric has joined the EBIT leadership team at this critical time for our state,” said Allen in the state’s release. “His depth of experience developing and implementing technology modernization will be key to our state’s ability to serve all Kansans.”

Indeed, Davis seems like a strong complimentary hire to work with Allen, who prior to taking his own current position with the state in July served as CIO of the Kansas Department for Children and Families dating back to 2013. Allen first came to work for the state in 2010.

Kansas continues to be an evolving body of tech work that includes modernization across all internal departments, outsourcing data centers, consolidating IT and moving toward a hybrid cloud model. As this work progresses, the tech within the state government will have a pair of leaders with complimentary resumes, one with nearly a decade of public-sector experience and another with a long career leading IT initiatives for private companies.

Associate editor for Government Technology magazine