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Recruitment Begins for State Chief Technology Officer

The CTO will work within the California Department of Technology and will also be the chief of the Office of Technology Services, which runs the state’s only general-purpose data center.

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California has opened recruitment for a new state chief technology officer (CTO) to oversee the Office of Technology Services (OTech) and the state’s only general-purpose data center.

The CTO, who is appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, “serves the common technology needs of Executive Branch agencies and other public entities with accountability to customers for providing secure services that are responsive to their needs and represent best value to the state,” says the job posting.

Applications should be sent to the Office of the Governor, not through the California Department of Technology’s job posting on CalCareers.

The state’s general-purpose data center “has consolidated the data processing services for most state departments,” the posting notes. “The OTech services are of critical importance in meeting the 300+ customer departments’ program objectives. The OTech provides data processing services, investigates emerging and advanced technologies, and provides technical consulting services for our customers. The state CTO is responsible for reducing the cost of doing business and improving efficiency.”

Responsibilities of the role include:
  • Consult and advise the Governor’s Office executive management staff, Department of Technology, the Legislature, Department of Finance and the client community on policy and proven and advanced technological methods for improving government efficiency through IT. Develop and implement policies relating to agency-wide IT operations, and make policy decisions affecting data center operations. (30 percent)
  • Advise the chief deputy director/deputy state CIO and director/state CIO in the formulation and implementation of state IT policies to ensure they are properly formulated and implemented. Function in a consultative role with the chief deputy director/deputy state CIO relative to state and OTech initiatives, policies and standards in support of the Department of Technology’s goals and objectives. Advise the chief deputy director/deputy state CIO and director/state CIO regarding major issues confronting the department. (30 percent)
  • Serve on statewide councils and task forces designed to develop IT strategy and policy direction for the state. Direct and manage the executive staff, which consists of three deputy directors, the deputy CTO and Administrative and Office Support Services. (30 percent)
  • Represent the Department of Technology and the chief deputy director/deputy state CIO in meetings with control agencies and with clients such as members of the Governor’s Office, Legislature, departmental directors and other high-level public and private officials as required. Appear before the Legislature concerning the department’s annual budget and on other matters as necessary. (10 percent)

Desirable qualifications for the CTO position, according to the job posting and duty statement, include:
  • Extensive experience in IT projects and procurements, legislation and policymaking
  • Knowledge of organization and functions of California state government, including the organization and practices of control agencies, the Legislature and the Executive Branch
  • Experience in obtaining buy-in and providing leadership to a large group of multi-disciplinary team members who do not report directly to the incumbent
  • Knowledge of the structure, organization and function of a variety of technology disciplines, as well as local, state and federal initiatives and programs
  • Proven track record of gaining the confidence and trust of individuals in key positions in the department’s customer base
  • Ability to plan, organize and direct the work of multidisciplinary professional and administrative staff
  • Ability to analyze administrative policies, organization, procedures and practices

The monthly salary range for this position is $14,697 to $16,373, and the application deadline is March 16. More information about the role is available in the duty statement.

The state CTO position was most recently held briefly by Suzie Changus, the CIO for the California Prison Industry Authority, who has chosen to return to her CalPIA role. (Changus was featured in an Industry Insider — California “One-on-One” interview in February 2021.)

Before Changus, the previous state CTO was Liana Bailey-Crimmins, who was appointed state CIO and CDT director in June.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C.