IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Former Long-Serving State CIO David Litchliter Has Died

With a steady hand and commitment to collaboration, the former Mississippi state CIO left his mark on the public-sector IT community.

David Litchliter.jpeg
Former Mississippi CIO David Litchliter
Former Mississippi state CIO David Litchliter died on May 3. He was 68.

Government Technology identified Litchliter as the longest serving state CIO with a tenure of 17 years. He made a career of serving the Magnolia State, beginning work with the state’s central IT agency in May 1976 — within weeks of graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

The name of the IT agency changed over the years. He joined the Central Data Processing Authority in the mid-1970s and retired from the Department of Information Technology Services in 2011. The evolution of the agency name only hinted at the transformation within the state’s public-sector IT community during Litchliter’s 35 years with the department.

Litchliter was an early advocate of system consolidation, enterprise solutions and shared services. Among his biggest career wins were the completion of a new data center in 2011 and a high-speed interoperable digital radio system for public safety and first responders. He credited extensive consultation and collaboration with the Legislature and state agencies for the success of those initiatives and the state’s adoption of the worldwide web, among other new technologies over the years.

His counterparts in other states took notice of his collaborative stance and resulting longevity. Litchliter did what few others have — serve the administrations of three governors.

"David was a pioneer and led the way in teaching us what a state CIO can do to make government better for everyone," said Teri Takai, senior vice president of the Center for Digital Government* and former state CIO in both Michigan and California. "I am proud to have known him and grateful for his leadership."

“David was a career public servant and respected technology leader for the state of Mississippi," said NASCIO Executive Director Doug Robinson. "He was one of the small number of state CIOs recognized by NASCIO for a decade of leadership and remains the longest tenured state CIO at 17 years. During such a long run as state CIO, David witnessed many changes in the state IT landscape. He also was the CIO during Hurricane Katrina and shared his perspective and lessons learned about its devastating impact at NASCIO’s conference in 2007.”

Notably, Litchliter was a state CIO before the title came into common usage. He was present at creation when the National Association of State Information Resource Executives (NASIRE) reinvented itself as the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) in 2001. He was a steady presence at its biannual conferences.

*The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, Government Technology's parent company.