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California Gov. Newsom Makes 3 Top Tech Appointments

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of two award-winning state government IT veterans and one former Google official to high-level positions within the California Department of Technology.

An aerial view of the California Capitol in Sacramento.
The appointments of three key leaders in state IT governance were announced Tuesday evening by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. 

Liana Bailey-Crimmins has been named state chief technology officer in the California Department of Technology (CDT). Bailey-Crimmins, an award-winning veteran of state service, most recently served as chief information security officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System since 2019, where she had previously served as chief health director from 2017 to 2019 and chief information officer (CIO) from 2013 to 2017. She was CIO for California Correctional Health Care Services from 2010 to 2013, and before that she was deputy CIO from 2008 to 2010. Bailey-Crimmins, 51, a Sacramento resident, is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. This position requires Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $180,000. 

Richard “Rick” Klau has been named state chief technology innovation officer in CDT. Klau, 49, was senior operating partner at Google Ventures from 2011 to 2020. The San Ramon resident had been product manager for Google from 2008 to 2011; before that, he had been strategic partner development manager there from 2007 to 2008. Klau was vice president of Business Development for FeedBurner from 2005 to 2007; vice president of Socialtext from 2004 to 2005; vice president of Vertical Markets for Interface Software from 2001 2004; and director of Industry Marketing for iManage Inc. from 1999 to 2000. Klau received his juris doctorate from the University of Richmond School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $180,000. 

Russell J. Nichols was named chief deputy director and deputy state CIO at CDT. Nichols, according to the governor’s announcement, most recently served as the award-winning director of the Division of Enterprise Information Services at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2015, where he had served as acting director in 2015 and as project director of the Strategic Offender Management System from 2012 to 2014. Nichols, 53, was a data processing manager in the Office of California Correctional Health Care Services from 2010 to 2012 and at the California State Controller’s Office from 2007 to 2010. Before that, the Cameron Park resident was with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection from 1999 to 2007, and the Employment Development Department from 1997 to 1999. He began his state tenure as a programmer in 1990. This position does not require Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $186,648. 

This article was originally published by Techwire, Government Technology's sister publication.

Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C.