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Baltimore's Acting CIO Resigns as Search for 'Visionary' Replacement Ramps Up

Baltimore Acting CIO Evette M. Munro resigned after less than five months on the job, but a nationwide search for a replacement with vision is heating up.

Evette M. Munro, who was elevated in late February from deputy CIO in the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Information Technology (MOIT) to acting department head, has resigned her position after less than five months.

Anthony McCarthy, director of communications and community engagement in the office of Mayor Catherine Pugh, told Government Technology that Munro has resigned effective Wednesday, July 12.

She follows former CIO Jerome Mullen — who was the city’s third CIO to leave in five years when he resigned in late February — out the door.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, who holds a weekly press availability on Wednesday mornings, told the Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore Brew, a daily online journal, that MOIT is in need of modernization.

“We need forward-thinking people, who understand the importance of different platforms,” Pugh told the Sun, characterizing the city as “far behind” in technology advancement.

“She is concerned about the need to modernize the department, to protect data and information that is proprietary to the city,” McCarthy told Government Technology late Wednesday. “She is troubled by the lack of advancement of technology at this point throughout city government.”

Baltimore’s permitting process moved online to e-permits in late March — eliminating long lines of developers and contractors at City Hall — but the mayor has also expressed concern about the city’s cloud presence and the online availability of bid information.

McCarthy told Government Technology that Pugh is mounting a nationwide search for a new CIO, assisted by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and that at least five people have applied to date.

“The mayor has actually had conversations with a couple of them so far. We’ve been very pleased with the number and quality of applicants to this point for this position,” McCarthy said.

Pugh, he said, “wants a visionary” as Baltimore’s next CIO, “someone who thinks beyond their title as a CIO.”

“She wants them to be cutting-edge, and her desire is that the city be on the cutting edge,” McCarthy added. “That’s a big bill and I’m certain the mayor will have no trouble filling it.”

Whoever becomes Baltimore’s next CIO will appear before its City Council for a confirmation hearing, but will be appointed by the mayor. McCarthy said a list of potential candidates should likely emerge within 30 to 60 days.

He declined to discuss the exact circumstances of Munro’s departure and said city policy is to not discuss personnel matters with the public.

But he confirmed that staffer Martin (Raymond) Okumu, the city’s director of information technology, infrastructure and shared services since March 2016, will temporarily assume Munro’s duties while continuing in his existing role.

On Wednesday, July 12, Munro’s LinkedIn profile still listed her as working for the city, in the position of acting CIO. She’s also listed as holding the position of acting chief information technology officer since February. The profile also lists her as deputy CIO since November 2015.

She had earned $141,400 annually as of June 30, 2016, according to the city’s website, which listed her as an Operations Director II in Information Technology.

Theo Douglas is assistant managing editor for Industry Insider — California, and before that was a staff writer for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes covering municipal, county and state governments, business and breaking news. He has a Bachelor's degree in Newspaper Journalism and a Master's in History, both from California State University, Long Beach.