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Peter Wallace

CIO, Virginia Beach, Va.

Virginia Beach CIO Peter Wallace
Peter Wallace brings an impressive resume to the Virginia Beach, Va., CIO’s office. After spending more than 17 years in the private sector, he came to government in 1998 and led IT for a handful of other East Coast jurisdictions before arriving in Virginia Beach in 2017.

Since then, Wallace has primarily focused his efforts on diversifying the city’s approach to technology and innovation. This includes transitioning to a software-defined data center, contributing to a multijurisdictional initiative to develop a dark fiber regional connectivity ring, and deploying dozens of Internet of Things sensors to collect water-level data to prepare for flooding and sea-level rise, a particular threat for coastal cities. He has also improved the city’s 311 system to ensure that citizens can easily connect to city services and information across multiple platforms during the pandemic.

The way that Wallace has kept his agency not only afloat but more productive than ever over the past two years is a testament to his approach. “It’s about leadership and about leading with compassion,” he told GT in an interview last summer. “That’s what’s required in these times of uncertainty, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

For example, Wallace explained, since transitioning to remote work, he has seen an increase in engagement among employees. But it wasn’t his first go at quickly pivoting in reaction to unforeseen circumstances. In May 2019, a tragic shooting at a municipal building that resulted in 13 deaths meant Wallace had to coordinate the needs of 400 city personnel that needed a new place to work to keep city operations moving. As bad as it was, he said the experience prepared them to make the switch quickly during the pandemic.

As for what comes next, Wallace said he and his team anticipate working on mitigating risks for the city’s cyber network, implementing a new ERP platform, replacing legacy systems and creating more opportunities for innovation.
Katya Maruri is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University.