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STATE PROFILES   |   Minnesota

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Carolyn Parnell
Chief Information Officer
MN.IT Services

(651) 556-8010

Year Appointed: 2011


Carolyn Parnell was appointed to head the Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology by Governor Mark Dayton on Feb. 1, 2011. Parnell will serve as Minnesota’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), leading OET’s delivery of services that improve government through the effective use of information technology.

Parnell has been leading technology organizations for 25 years, most recently as Chief Operating Officer for Information Technology Services for the Minnesota System of Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), the fifth-largest system of two- and-four year colleges and universities in the country. Additionally, Parnell brings a wealth of experience in information technology management from her time as the Director of Information Technology at Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media, as well as serving as the Director of Networks and Data Centers at Fidelity National Information Systems and as the Director of Networking and Telecommunications Services at the University of Minnesota.

Prior to her work in information technology, Parnell worked as a child protection social worker in Nobles County, Worthington, Minnesota, and for a brief time at Dakota County in Burnsville, Minnesota. Her volunteer work includes working for YES/NEON as an outreach worker and a board member for Crisis Connection as well as a board member for the Charles Babbage Foundation. Parnell earned a B.A. at the University of Minnesota, Morris, in Sociology and Liberal Arts for the Human Services and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

MN.IT Services – Information Technology for Minnesota Government

MN.IT Services, the State of Minnesota’s centralized IT organization, provides high-quality, secure and cost-effective information technology to meet the business needs of government, foster innovation, and improve outcomes for the people of Minnesota.

In 2011, new legislation consolidated all aspects of IT for agencies in Minnesota’s executive branch – people, projects, infrastructure and applications. These functions had been previously divided among 70-plus agencies, boards and commissions. This reorganization was the largest in Minnesota’s state government in decades. The new agency, MN.IT Services, is now a year and a half old, and encompasses over 2,100 statewide staff members and a $400 million+ annual budget.

Other Information

IT Procurement Responsibility: State Procurement Office


National Information Exchange Model Sustainable Success: State CIOs and Health Information Exchange A National Survey of Social Media Use in State Government