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Arkansas Bolsters IT Agency with Two Key Leadership Roles

The Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS) announced that it filled two key agency IT roles July 31.

Arkansas' state IT agency has filled two key positions as of July 31. The first was the deputy director role left empty when Yessica Jones stepped into the director and chief technology officer post in November, and the second was the newly codified chief data officer position.

The agency announced in a Monday tweet that Carder Hawkins, formerly a project manager for the Department of Information Systems (DIS), had been named as its deputy director. Jones served in the deputy director role prior to the departure of then-CTO Mark Myers, who left at the request of Gov. Asa Hutchinson. 

DIS welcomes back Carder Hawkins as #deputydirector. DIS also announces Dr. Richard Wang as state chief data officer #CDO. Details soon! — Arkansas DIS (@arkansasDIS) July 31, 2017
Hawkins’ familiarity with project management made him an ideal fit for the executive-level position because it comes with project oversight responsibilities, Public Information Manager Janet Clark told Government Technology.

He served in the project management role from January 2011 to November 2012, and most recently served as as the Insurance deputy commissioner of Information Services for Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr at the Arkansas Insurance Department (AID), according to Clark.

The deputy director is responsible for agency compliance with state and federal laws, overseeing the enterprise architecture division and the quality management and human resources departments. 

The department also brought on state newcomer Richard Wang to serve as the state’s first chief data officer (CDO). The CDO position was created under House Bill 1793, which also laid the groundwork for the first chief privacy officer.

Wang, who received his Ph.D. in information technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will also “continue to serve as executive director of the Institute for Chief Data Officers at the University of Arkansas Little Rock” in tandem with his state CDO duties, Clark said, adding that the search for a chief privacy officer is still underway.

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