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Virginia Governor Appoints State's First-Ever Chief Data Officer

Carlos Rivero, who has spent his career in academia and federal government positions, will be Virginia's first CDO.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has appointed Carlos Rivero, whose career has spanned academic institutions and federal agencies, as the state’s first-ever chief data officer.

The move follows the passage of Virginia’s Senate Bill 580, the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act, which created the CDO position and tasked the person filling the role with establishing guidelines for data use and privacy as well as coordinating data sharing between pieces of the state government.

Rivero brings more than two decades of professional experience to the role. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has worked in a variety of technical roles since 1994. He served as director of the GeoCORE Geospatial Analysis facility at the University of Miami; taught coding and GIS at the collegiate level; and then became a physical scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Most recently, he was the chief data officer and chief enterprise architect for the Federal Transit Administration. He hold’s a master’s degree in business intelligence and analytics from Saint Joseph’s University.

Virginia joins a growing number of states to appoint chief data officers. Government Technology has tracked the appointment of CDOs in 12 other states, as well as a host of cities and counties, many of whom have been appointed in the past year.

The state CDO position is organized under the Office of the Secretary of Administration, which also oversees the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

The Virginia governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.