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Michael Leahy Named Maryland's New Acting IT Secretary

Maryland has named Michael Leahy, previously a senior adviser to Gov. Larry Hogan, as its new acting secretary of IT.

His LinkedIn profile still lists him as senior adviser to Gov. Larry Hogan and director of real property strategies for the governor’s office, but Maryland official Michael Leahy has a new title.

On March 8 the state named Leahy its acting secretary of information technology. He replaces David Garcia, who served as state CIO and secretary of IT and stepped down in January to spend more time with his family.

It’s not yet clear how Leahy will approach the new position or leverage his previous experience — but he has a breadth of service on which to draw. As adviser to Hogan, Leahy provided guidance on “practical governance and policy matters,” per LinkedIn. As director of real property strategies, he developed and implemented asset management tools and methods for the state.

Leahy had occupied that role since June 2016. Prior to that, he was city attorney for Annapolis, Md., for nearly two years, and before that, he had been in private practice in Severna Park, Md., for nearly five years.

In private practice, Leahy's work was oriented toward policy development with “concentrations in enterprise and entrepreneur development,” management of intellectual property, government relations, privacy law and land use. He also maintained a focus on telecommunications, broadband industries and software as a service, and was a Certified Information Privacy Professional, indicating an understanding of privacy and data protection law.

It’s also unclear how Leahy will address the ongoing consolidation of state IT. The Maryland Department of Information Technology was created in 2008 to consolidate the state's IT functions and policies. In the 2016 Digital States Survey, Maryland received a B grade and stated in its submission that it expected to have 25 agencies and 10,000 employees consolidated into the Department of Information Technology by the end of 2016.

Theo Douglas is assistant managing editor for Industry Insider — California, and before that was a staff writer for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes covering municipal, county and state governments, business and breaking news. He has a Bachelor's degree in Newspaper Journalism and a Master's in History, both from California State University, Long Beach.