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Maryland IT Restructures, Adding New Roles, Filling Existing Ones

The Maryland Department of Information Technology has hired four executives for new tech roles, including its first-ever chief technology officer. The state has also hired a new chief information security officer.

Photo of Maryland Statehouse featuring Maryland flag in the front left.
The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission is developing a modern web-based and intelligent system for filing and managing workers' compensation claims.
The state of Maryland has announced plans to modernize operations within the Department of Information Technology with the creation and appointment of several new-to-the-state positions: chief technology officer (CTO), chief digital experience officer, AI adviser and director of accessibility.

These new positions will work under the leadership of Katie Savage, department secretary and CIO since January 2023, to help prepare the state for changing needs in the areas of IT, AI, cybersecurity and accessibility.

Savage took the role following the departure of former CIO Michael Leahy.

Michele Thomas will take the role of CTO and will work to improve agency IT experience through the implementation of core enterprise services across the executive branch.

The chief digital experience officer position, meanwhile, will be held by Marcy Jacobs, who will oversee the newly created Office of Digital Experience. This office will lead efforts to improve the accessibility of digital and IT platforms throughout the state.

Nishant Shah will serve as senior adviser for responsible artificial intelligence and will be responsible for the state’s AI strategy; this includes developing guidelines for ethical use, pilots and collaboration with the federal government.

Earlier this year, Savage told Government Technology that the state is taking an intentional approach with generative AI use, starting with gathering, cleaning and making data available to properly train AI models.

The final new position is director of accessibility, which will be held by Andrew Drummond. This role is responsible for making sure state technology products, including new IT procurements, meet non-visual accessibility standards of compliance. Drummond will collaborate with the Maryland Department of Disabilities for this work.

In addition to these new roles, the state also announced Greg Rogers will serve as the state chief information security officer (CISO). Rogers will lead the Office of Security Management in the role to lead the implementation of cybersecurity strategy and policy.

The CISO position was previously held by Chip Stewart for nearly four years. According to LinkedIn, Stewart left the role earlier this year and started a role in the private sector as cyber strategy director with RSM US LLP. Before leaving state government, he helped launch an information sharing and analysis center.

The new team was recruited through a partnership between the state administration and the Tech Talent Project, a nonprofit that helps governments recruit modern tech leaders.

“We have assembled a team that will bring the department up to speed and into the future,” said Savage in the announcement. “The department’s new digital experience team will also promote user-centered design across platforms and products to ensure ease of use for all Marylanders who interact with state government and make technology accessible for all.”