IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

North Carolina Chief Technology, Innovation Officer Eric Ellis Moves to the Private Sector

Ellis logged his last day as a state employee and is moving on to work at hardware and software reseller SHI International.

One of the driving forces behind the state of North Carolina’s Innovation Center (iCenter) is stepping aside for a new role in the private sector. 

In an internal announcement released earlier this week, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) notified staff that Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Eric Ellis was leaving state service for hardware and software reseller SHI International. He held the technology and innovation position since January, and formerly served as the CTO for the multiple state agencies, including the departments of Environmental Quality and Commerce.

“Under Eric Ellis’ leadership as the Director of the Innovation Center (iCenter), North Carolina has made tremendous strides around innovation throughout state government, allowing us to become a national leader in the field. He helped foster several collaborative technological relationships with public and private partners, and allowed North Carolina to test more than $10 million worth of technology at no cost to the state," Chief Information Officer Keith Werner said in an email. 

Ellis’ duties also included directing the iCenter technology proving grounds, which Public Affairs Director Michelle Vaught said will now fall to former iCenter Deputy Director Deanté Tyler on an interim basis.

"Although Eric will be missed, rest assured that innovation will continue to remain a top priority for us, as we work with all of our partners to make state government more user-friendly and cost-effective for the citizens of North Carolina.  Also, I remain confident that the iCenter is in very capable hands with Deanté Tyler at the helm,” Werner continued.

The move comes shortly after the iCenter announced its testing of chatbots to aid internal IT help desk personnel, potentially freeing them up to focus on more strategic tasks — which Ellis said will find their way into numerous government applications over the next five years.

His last day on the state payroll was Oct. 14.

Eyragon Eidam is the Web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at
Special Projects
Sponsored Articles
  • How the State of Washington teamed with Deloitte to move to a Red Hat footprint within 100 days.
  • The State of Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) reduced its application delivery times to get digital services to citizens faster.

  • Sponsored
    Like many governments worldwide, the City and County of Denver, Colorado, had to act quickly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support more than 15,000 employees working from home, the government sought to adapt its new collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams. By automating provisioning and scaling tasks with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, an agentless, human-readable automation tool, Denver supported 514% growth in Teams use and quickly launched a virtual emergency operations center (EOC) for government leaders to respond to the pandemic.
  • Sponsored
    Microsoft Teams quickly became the business application of choice as state and local governments raced to equip remote teams and maintain business continuity during the COVID-19 lockdown. But in the rush to deploy Teams, many organizations overlook, ignore or fail to anticipate some of the administrative hurdles to successful adoption. As more organizations have matured their use of Teams, a set of lessons learned has emerged to help agencies ensure a successful Teams rollout – or correct course on existing implementations.