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New Jersey Appoints First CTO

Gov. Chris Christie has called on security specialist Dave Weinstein to spearhead improvements to cybersecurity and innovation in the state.

New Jersey is getting a new chief technology officer.

Today New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed Dave Weinstein, the state’s cybersecurity director, to be its first dedicated CTO. Until now, the CTO and CIO positions were held by one person, the last of which was Steve Emanuel, who left in March for the private sector. Shortly thereafter, Odysseus Marcopolus was appointed as the state's acting CIO.

As the state's new, stand-alone CTO, Weinstein will be responsible for crafting and coordinating innovation strategies and cybersecurity standards, and advancing the state’s goals to modernize its services.

Previously Weinstein worked as the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness as its chief information security officer and chief cybersecurity director. Prior to this, he served in the Defense Department’s U.S. Cyber Command center.

“I’ve told him that I’ll match his commitment with the resources that he needs to be able to do the job in the right way,” Christie said in a broadcasted announcement. “All of us see both the great potential in the burgeoning expansion of technology, but we also see perils that are involved as well. And those perils are real to the people of our state — just as real as the opportunities are.”

Mirroring the former Republican presidential candidate's message, Weinstein thanked Christie for the opportunity while promising to improve the state’s security and adopt progressive technologies.

“I share the governor’s vision that innovation is not outside of the reach of government,” Weinstein said, “and that we can and should embrace technological change at a pace commensurate with the private sector.”

Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.