Michael Dietrich Will Remain Nevada's CIO

Steve Sisolak, the new governor, has decided to retain Dietrich as the state's chief information officer.

Nevada Chief Information Officer Michael Dietrich will continue serving within the new administration, continuing his plan to better consolidate IT across state agencies, introduce innovations like more cloud computing, among other advances. 

Dietrich was named Nevada CIO and deputy director of administration in April 2018, after serving as a senior manager at LinkedIn. He replaced Shanna Rahming, who had served for three years. 

The IT strategy for the next four years, known as “Road to Unity,” or R2U, is a multi-track approach that builds efficiencies through “enterprise solutions” like Office 365 and then takes on initiatives “that break down silos and reduce tech sprawl,” Dietrich said. “One such initiative is the implementation of a State Hybrid Cloud that will avail our customer agencies of duplicative platform maintenance and support.”

In November, Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, edged out his Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, garnering 49.4 percent of the vote to Laxalt’s 45.3 percent. The seat was wide open since incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval was term limited.

Nevada is one of only a few states where the governor’s office changed parties in the November election and the new administration retained a CIO from the previous administration.

In addition to Nevada, the other states that retained a CIO despite a party change and new administration include Kansas and Wisconsin.

But perhaps this anomaly should occur more often. Dietrich said the position of chief technology officer is generally apolitical.

“As with any similar role in the private sector, the focus is on building an adaptable, scalable [Information and Technology] that can support the changing needs of business — regardless of what that change looks like,” Dietrich said.

Looking forward, the CIO said he wants to continue efforts to grow collaboration.

“Fundamental to both short-term and long-term success is a strong emphasis on communications, collaboration, engagement and governance,” Dietrich said in an email to Government Technology. “Partnering with agencies to ensure that we are truly working better together is critically important.

“The goal is to improve all our capabilities through shared knowledge, resources and lessons learned, and to ensure effective cooperation and coordination between these agencies,” he added.

Editor's note: This article was adjusted to reflect the states that retained a CIO despite a party change and new administration.

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.