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Longtime Mississippi CIO Craig Orgeron Announces Retirement

Orgeron, who began working in the state’s IT shop in 1997, will continue to serve on IT public policy boards in the state as he pursues private-sector opportunities following his departure next month.

Mississippi CIO Craig Orgeron
Mississippi CIO Craig Orgeron
Government Technology
Craig Orgeron, the executive director of Mississippi’s information technology services department, will retire Aug. 7, state officials have announced in a release.

Orgeron has held the post since 2011, making him one of the country's longest-serving state chief information officers, but his time within the state’s IT shop extends back to 1997, when he came aboard as an IT planner. Before assuming the state’s top spot as IT executive director and CIO, he held a number of other positions there as well, including emergency technology coordinator, enterprise architect, and director of strategic services.

In the announcement, Mississippi officials note that Orgeron will stay involved in technology work there, doing so via serving on tech and public policy boards as he pursues private-sector opportunities within the context of his retirement. 

Orgeron’s time at the helm has seen Mississippi earn a number of accolades for its work in public-sector IT, specifically placing in the top five of the Center for Digital Government’s Best of the Web Awards each year dating back to 2015. Orgeron was also selected as one of Government Technology's Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers in 2016. Additionally, he has been honored by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), receiving that group’s meritorious service award. Orgeron has also served as president of NASCIO.

In his time with the state, he has earned a reputation as an accomplished leader, also having served on the executive committee of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and participating in several localized government IT task forces and committees, including the Mississippi Broadband Task Force, the Digital Signature Committee, the Electronic Government Task Force, and the Governor’s Commission on Digital Government.

Much has been done in Mississippi during Orgeron’s time with the state, with the implementation of enterprise electronic government being among the most notable.

Before starting his career with Mississippi IT, Orgeron served as a communications computer systems officer in the United States Air Force, receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal and the National Service Defense Medal.

The state announced Orgeron’s intent to retire Wednesday, and according to a local news report, Michelle Blocker, chief administrative officer of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, has been named interim executive director.