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Colorado CIO Theresa Szczurek to Step Down in September

The CIO, who has been in office for a little more than a year and a half, led the state's technological response to the COVID-19 outbreak, helping to set up alternate care sites and enable remote work.

Colorado CIO Theresa Szczurek
David Kidd/Government Technology
After roughly a year and a half in the role, Theresa Szczurek will step down as Colorado’s CIO on Sept. 4.

The state’s governor, Jared Polis, announced her departure Aug. 10.

“We can’t thank Theresa enough for her work to advance the state’s IT culture and enhance virtual access to government services in Colorado,” Polis said in a statement. “She dedicated herself to improving customer satisfaction and ensuring that these essential services are delivered effectively and efficiently to Coloradans. Theresa has also been critical in helping the state leverage IT to weather the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. We wish her the best as she takes the next step in her career.”

Anthony Neal-Graves, executive director of the Colorado Broadband Office and the chief operations officer of the Office of Information Technology, will fill in as interim CIO while the state searches for a permanent replacement for Szczurek.

In her time in office, Szczurek brought a “fail fast and fail small” attitude that encouraged experimentation, and helped craft a blockchain study to advise elected leaders on the technology. More recently, she led the state’s technological response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including setting up the technology used in alternate care sites and helping to enable more remote work.

Under her tenure, the state’s tech office also deployed the digital driver’s license app myColorado and a new sales and use tax system for the Department of Revenue, which Polis praised for being “ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Szczurek is one of only eight state CIOs who is female, the others being Yessica Jones in Arkansas, Amy Tong in California, Annette Dunn in Iowa, DeAngela Burns-Wallace in Kansas, Ruth Day in Kentucky, Stephanie Dedmon in Tennessee and Trina Zanow in Wisconsin. Michelle Blocker is currently serving as interim CIO in Mississippi.

“The opportunity to serve Colorado has been an extremely rewarding and meaningful journey,” she said in the statement. “Information technology is essential to many state services. It has been an honor and privilege to work on behalf of the Governor and his administration as a catalyst for change, side-by-side with my team of employees who are passionately committed to serving the people in this beautiful state we call home. I came in to pursue a passionate purpose, did what needed to be done, and now am ready to move on to the next opportunity.”

Szczurek has not yet accepted another role, according to a department spokesperson.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.