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Alabama Governor Appoints New IT Office Lead

Just months after being sworn in as governor, Kay Ivey has appointed a top-level state IT executive to replace Dr. Joanne Hale.

The leadership within Alabama’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has shifted. After more than a year-and-a-half under the leadership of Dr. Joanne Hale, recently sworn-in Gov. Kay Ivey has tapped former agency Chief Operations Officer (COO) Jim Purcell to serve as acting secretary.

The switch comes just months after the office was formally granted autonomy through Senate Bill 219, which split the OIT away from the Department of Finance. In early May, Hale explained to Government Technology that the move was just the codification of an interagency agreement that had been in place for several months.

Ivey was officially sworn in as the state’s governor roughly a month before signing the IT agency legislation in April.

The appointment of Purcell, who has been with the agency as COO since December of 2016, marks a change in direction for the agency. Though it remains unclear whether Hale left to pursue other opportunities or was asked to step aside by the governor, Purcell’s appointment signals a safe and familiar change to the agency’s executive leadership. Hale began her tenure at the agency in January 2016.

“I am honored to have been chosen by Gov. Ivey to lead the Office of Information Technology,” Purcell said in a press release. “As technology continues to change, the technology-related needs of our state government changes; and I am excited to lead the charge in keeping our state on the cutting edge.”

Prior to accepting the role of the chief operation officer, Purcell served as the manager of solutions architecture for VeriStor Systems, and as a solutions consultant for NWN Corporation. He also served as the chief technology officer for Brasfield and Gorrie between 1999 and 2014.

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
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