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Howard County, Md., Exec. Appoints Chief Information Officer

Dr. James Smith Jr., who brings years of expertise in data security and web architecture, will replace Brandee Ganz following her appointment to the chief administrative officer position earlier this month.

A row of data servers.
Dr. James Smith Jr. will soon take the helm as Howard County, Md.’s chief information officer.

Smith will begin his tenure on April 3, filling a position that has been vacant in the Department of Technology and Communication Services since former CIO Brandee Ganz began her new role as chief administrative officer at the beginning of this month.

In his new position, Smith will work strategically to help bridge the digital divide within the county.

“I know that Dr. Smith’s vast experience and background will build upon ongoing efforts to build an equitable and accessible technological infrastructure,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball in a press release. “Howard County Government is grateful to have incredible leaders who will help us achieve our goals of providing innovative and transformative service.”

Smith brings a breadth of knowledge in information security, web design, systems architecture and data operations. He is joining Howard County from Peraton, formerly Northrop Grumman, where he managed a team supporting the U.S. Government’s DevOps in various security and infrastructure initiatives. After working as a web designer for the national office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Smith accepted a role creating security and network policies for Amtrak, before eventually being named information security and data center operations manager with Baltimore City Public Schools.

The data expert holds a bachelor’s degree from Sojourner Douglas College and a master’s degree from American Intercontinental University in information systems management. He obtained his doctoral degree in business administration (DBA) from Walden University.