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Washington State Names Pennsylvania CTO to Top IT Post

Interim CIO Vikki Smith, who alluded to her imminent departure in a conversation with Government Technology last week, will be succeeded by Pennsylvania Chief Technology Officer James Weaver.

Gov. Jay Inslee has tapped another state’s chief technology officer to fill the CIO role with Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech).
According to a press release from Inslee’s office Nov. 15, James A. Weaver will fill a position that has only had interim leadership since late last year. 
Since the departure of former CIO Michael Cockrill in September 2017, the position has been held by two interim CIOs — Rob St. John, who retired in June, and Vikki Smith.
In a press release, Inslee’s office lists Weaver’s experience as the current CTO for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as previous roles as the deputy CIO and as CTO for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Weaver also served in the Pennsylvania National Guard for more than three decades, focusing on personnel information management systems.
“James brings a wealth of experience in state government information technology. He has decades of hands-on knowledge and he will build on the important work that WaTech has done to serve the people of Washington through technology,” Inslee said in the press release. “I look forward to working with James, and I extend my deepest thanks to Vikki for stepping in and ably directing the agency over the past several months.”
During the Washington Digital Government Summit* last week, Smith alluded to a permanent replacement being named, though officials in the governor’s office were unable to confirm a specific candidate. Smith, who has worked in a number of capacities at the Department of Revenue since 1970, also talked about the future of the agency and its shift away from a central service provider and toward a brokerage role.
Weaver will begin work at WaTech Dec. 10.
*Digital Government Summits are organized by the Center for Digital Government, which is part of Government Technology's parent company, e.Republic.


James Weaver
Eyragon Eidam is the web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at