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Vermont CIO John Quinn to Depart for Private Sector

John Quinn, head of Vermont’s Agency of Digital Services, has announced his impending departure from the role after five years, and will be taking on a position in the private sector with Government Sourcing Solutions.

Headshot of Vermont CIO John Quinn with palm trees in the background.
After more than five years of service, Secretary John Quinn will be leaving his position with the Vermont Agency of Digital Services (ADS).

He was first appointed as chief innovation officer in January 2017, and when Executive Order 06-17 came into effect in April 2017 establishing the new agency, he was named the agency’s first secretary.

Quinn’s final day with ADS will be Sept. 17, he told Government Technology, noting his new role with the public procurement advisory firm Government Sourcing Solutions (GovSourcing). Until a new permanent secretary of ADS is named, Deputy Secretary Shawn Nailor will lead the agency.

In his new position, Quinn says his 21 years of experience navigating state government gives him unique insights into the best practices of doing business in the state and local market.

During his tenure with the state, Quinn was instrumental in reshaping the way Vermont IT operates, bringing new ideas and approaches to everything from cybersecurity to funding to digital service delivery.

“Very few people ever get the chance to build an agency from scratch,” Quinn said. “And I was one of the lucky ones to be able to do that.”

Establishing ADS and setting it up for success involved moving people from their positions in other agencies, being transparent and establishing a model for Vermont’s future, he explained, underlining the importance of having Gov. Phil Scott’s support in this process.

And in building the agency, Quinn has worked to improve the way the state’s Legislature and citizens view state IT, something that he acknowledged was a challenge based on past perceptions.

“I worked really hard to ensure that we were taking steps to build an agency that Vermonters, the Legislature and the administration could be proud of, knowing that we were spending money wisely, we were doing things in the most efficient and effective way possible and we were being transparent about the road that we were on and where we were headed.”

Transparency with the Vermont state Legislature to improve understanding of both risks and mitigation strategies helped position the agency to receive their support — to the tune of $133 million over the past two years — to modernize systems in the state, he noted.

In the state’s announcement, Quinn stated that the number of computer programs used by the state has been reduced from 1,500 to 1,100. Since 2018, ADS has saved taxpayers over $30 million through various efforts including reducing applications.

He will start in his new position immediately following his departure from ADS.

“Public sector procurement and public sector IT needs grow increasingly complex each day,” said Brian Selander, CEO of GovSourcing, in a written quote provided by Quinn. “John will make an immediate impact with our team of former state CPOs to help understand and navigate that complexity.”
Julia Edinger is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Toledo and has since worked in publishing and media. She's currently located in Southern California.