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Rosa Akhtarkhavari, Longtime Orlando CIO, Will Retire

The veteran municipal executive, who became chief information officer in 2010, led a centralized IT team, oversaw a multiphase IT transformation and managed a budget of more than $29 million.

A view of downtown Orlando, Florida, with the waterfront in the foreground.
Longtime Orlando Chief Information Officer Rosa Akhtarkhavari is stepping down, officially ending her 32-year tenure with the city.
Rosa Akhtarkhavari.

The announcement, formally shared via the city’s LinkedIn page on Tuesday, said: “Her passion for improving city operations and delivering the best technology solutions has created a strong foundation for the future. Rosa will certainly be missed, but we wish her the best as she embarks on the next chapter in her life.”

Akhtarkhavari first joined the city in 1992 as an application developer. Since then, she has taken on multiple roles, including serving as an IT financial application manager, IT application administrator, IT strategic support manager, chief security officer and deputy CIO.

In August 2010, she became the city’s CIO and, in November 2021, took on a simultaneous deputy chief financial officer role. Her last day will be Friday; a national recruitment for her replacement is underway.

“The CIO role has evolved in response to the increase of new emerging technology, cyber threats and the impact of COVID-19,” Akhtarkhavari told Industry Insider — Florida in a One-on-One interview in November. “Additionally, there have been major shifts in the industry, including the expectations set for digital services, business reliance on data, supply chain impacts, hiring and retention and new emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.”

As for projects she and her team were working on, she said then, “Our information technology department will continue to focus on building the resiliency of our city operations, such as expanding the cloud data center; ensuring detection, response, containment and recovery of any cyber exposures; and exploring emerging technologies and pilot technologies that enable us to improve our response, planning and decision-making.”

Now, Akhtarkhavari says she’s ready to move on.

“I have fulfilled my mission. You now have skilled and dedicated IT managers, most of whom were mentored internally and came through the ranks,” she wrote in a letter to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Thank you for trusting me to lead the Information Technology Department; with my retirement, I will now have the time to pursue my personal goals. I will always cherish my time in the city.”

This story first appeared in Industry Insider — Florida, part of e.Republic, Government Technology’s parent company.
Katya Diaz is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University.