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Tanya Hannah

CIO, King County, Wash.

King County, Washington, CIO Tanya Hannah
Approaching her third year as chief information officer of Washington’s largest county, Tanya Hannah has put her local government on GovTech’s Digital Counties map year after year, most recently for promoting equity and adapting to COVID-19.

Last year, King County Information Technology (KCIT) implemented a strategic plan requiring an equity impact review of all technology initiatives, as well as further data collection on how different communities are being served by the county. She also oversaw the transition to telework of more than 5,500 employees, helped set up several testing sites and field hospitals for COVID-19 patients, and implemented chatbots to handle questions from the public, thus affording nursing staff 35 percent more time to focus on patients.

In addition to featuring in GovTech’s Digital Counties list, Hannah has helped King County win multiple mentions as a top IT county by the National Association of Counties, plus consecutive CIO 100 awards, national Government Experience awards and a FutureEdge 50 award. She did this in part with modernization projects, such as launching the King County Connect mobile app for county data and digital services, planning workshops and focus groups around it, and starting a first-of-its-kind online reporting program to collect performance data from service providers.

Taken altogether, Hannah’s work demonstrates not only a keen understanding of technology and its potential within a large government enterprise, but also a focus on serving residents and lifting up the whole community.

She summed up this focus in a message on the KCIT website: “Although the latest in artificial intelligence, mixed and virtual reality, natural language processing, geo-spatial data, and IoT is incubating here, at its core, KCIT’s work is about making life better and creating opportunities for county residents to thrive.”  
Andrew Westrope is managing editor of the Center for Digital Education. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology, and previously was a reporter and editor at community newspapers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.