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The NASCIO State Technology Innovator Award honors outstanding individuals who have made contributions to advance state technology policy through the promotion of best practices, adoption of new technologies and advancements in service delivery.
Submissions for the 2018 award will open at the end of May. The recipients will be honored during the NASCIO 2018 Annual Confrence.
Through this award, NASCIO strives to acknowledge state leaders, managers and employees who promote innovation, excellence and good government. Nominees must be an employee, elected official, appointed official or other appointee representing state government.
The state CIO and those working for the state under contract with private sector firms are not eligible for this award.
Nominations will be accepted from NASCIO members and non-members. NASCIO staff may also nominate outstanding individuals they encounter in the course of their work.
The State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) created a data sharing and visualization platform as an enterprise service to allow agencies to meet agency specific data sharing, visualization and reporting needs. It consists of four main components:
A fast and simple service onboarding process has been implemented that allows agencies to get up and running with the service often in less than a week. A governance body is leveraged as a method to share agency success stories, methods, learnings and data to drive agency collaboration, while providing guidance and oversight to the enterprise data sources and data visualizations – “caretaking” the state asset. DAS followed proven deployment methodology that incorporated organizational change management, repeatability, auditing, and data privacy and security best practices to promote awareness and adoption.
The State of Ohio’s new PaaS is allowing agencies to move from IT as a bottleneck to IT as an enabler. A sampling of the creative agency solutions and their impacts are highlighted below.
The Enterprise HR Dashboards allow the enterprise as well as individual agencies to visualize a variety of HR metrics including headcount, turnover, payroll dollars and leave balance. HR Leadership plans uses these dashboards to evaluate the people impact of a variety of state policies.
Ohio's Interactive Budget is a first of its kind, comprehensive state financial and budgetary website that enables visitors to see not only how state money is spent, but also how revenue is generated and allocated via the state budget.
The Ohio Administrative Knowledge System Operational Dashboard allows viewers to visualize current case statistics which in turn gives the team insight on issues and bottlenecks, the correct allocation of resources, the team’s workload over time, and the service throughput and queue.
EPA is using the platform to monitor newspaper compliance with publishing public notices for agency actions in the state mandated time frame.
The State Health Facts dashboards provide insight and allow for decision making based on state health data.
If each participating agency would pursue this type of technology investment on its own, the cumulative cost would be on the order of $10 million dollars. DAS deployed the platform and Enterprise Service for usage by all agencies for a total investment of less than $1 million that was funded out of operational cost savings. The centralized service has made ongoing maintenance and support costs economical to all agencies as the platform is centrally hosted.
The possibilities for insights into public policy impacts, outcomes and government efficiencies are nearly endless. Leveraging adoption models, governance and lessons learned from the state’s data visualization-as-a-service platform will allow Ohio to continue to meet tomorrow’s information needs.
Carrie Mayne has been employed with the Department of Workforce Services for 11 years. She began her career with DWS as the Bureau of Labor Statistics programs supervisor and then later moved to the supervisory role for the team of economists. Most recently, she took on the role of Chief Economist and Director of the Workforce Research and Analysis Division. During that time, Carrie has continuously utilized technology to produce better results for the state of Utah.
In the past year Carrie oversaw that production of one of the most comprehensive decision support and data-rich economy dashboard systems anywhere. She has trained her team to effectively leverage vast amounts of cross-agency data to provide unique and valuable insights into the state economy. Here are a few examples:
Carrie also ensures that these valuable tools are well utilized through effective use of social media, including YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX6z-z9k3uM&t=3s), Twitter (https://twitter.com/carrie_mayne), and Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/Utah.DWS/videos/1491087974248253/). Each month, she produces a livestream update on the state’s economy. The Economy Utah Blog (http://economyutah.blogspot.com) provides economic updates for each region of the state. The Jobs.Utah.gov website receives over 980,000 visits per month with many online visitors coming to explore Utah’s economic insights.
Carrie’s team are important contributors to the State’s Open Data Portal (https://opendata.utah.gov), a catalog of over 2300 open data sets.
Carrie is a regular participant in the Utah Digital Government Summit and her sessions are regularly attended by standing-room only crowds. Her data-driven initiatives are helping guide more girls into STEM occupations by identifying critical shortages in Utah’s workforce (http://wliut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/StatusofWomeninUtah-economy1.pdf). She is a contributor to Utah’s Women Tech Council.
In the last few years, Carrie’s work is making an impact on important societal issues. Her data insights are invaluable to the success of Utah’s Intergenerational Poverty Initiative (https://jobs.utah.gov/edo/intergenerational/). The insights that her team provides through effective use of technology makes this truly a data-driven initiative.
Carrie works with the Department of Technology Services, providing oversight of the cross-agency Workforce Services data warehouse, recently migrating to the hyperconverged Exadata platform to provide quick performance to complex data queries and services.
In 2017, the State Legislature recognized Carrie’s expertise, moving the Utah Data Alliance (http://www.utahdataalliance.org) under her management to ensure improved data insights into years of student longitudinal data to facilitate data-driven decision making for education, aligning educational decisions with economic opportunity and occupational information.
Carrie Mayne’s use of data and technology is having an impact on the vibrancy of the Utah economy and is an example worthy of a real State Technology Innovator.
There’s a reason Dr. Steve Nichols’ guidance and insight are sought on a national level. He knows what he’s talking about. His combination of expertise and experience is largely unmatched, and he’s always eager to find innovative ways to better serve citizens and to share lessons learned.
As Chief Technology Officer for the state of Georgia, Dr. Nichols advises leadership of the Georgia Technology Authority and other state agencies on critical technology issues. He has played a key role in numerous initiatives to modernize the state’s IT infrastructure and served on national boards responsible for developing and recommending technology policies and practices.
Dr. Nichols participated in a national work group charged with creating standard language for government-sector purchase agreements for cloud services. The work group issued the Guide to Cloud Procurement after nine months’ effort. The best-practices guide addresses data ownership, security, breach notification, operations, and audits. He has also been sought by national news organizations for his insights and opinions on issues related to cloud-based services.
He was one of six people appointed to the Technical Architecture Review Board by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. Charged with advising on IT transformation and business integration of the Medicaid program nationwide, the review board was a critical part of the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture initiative, whose goal was to develop a national framework to support improved systems development and health care management for Medicaid.
Dr. Nichols is responsible for Georgia’s web portal and the state’s enterprise web publishing platform, which supports 78 state agency websites and relies on Drupal, an open-source content management system hosted in the cloud. He provided executive leadership for the implementation of responsive design technology on the portal and all agency websites on the enterprise platform. In doing so, Georgia became the first state in the nation to make its web publishing platform mobile friendly. Responsive design automatically adjusts the display on any website on the platform to optimally fit whatever type of device is used to access the site, whether a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
Under his leadership, the state’s web portal and websites on the enterprise platform were among the first in the nation to ensure accessibility by meeting WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards and federal Section 508 compliance standards. The initiative resulted in 37 different enhancements affecting functionality, color contrast, and font legibility. The enhancements benefit everyone – especially people with disabilities affecting vision, hearing, motor control, and cognition – and ensure an inclusive, accessible experience for users with assistive technology.
Dr. Nichols played a critical leadership role in the years-long initiative to consolidate and modernize the state’s IT enterprise. At the beginning of the initiative, the enterprise was plagued with outdated equipment, inefficient and often unreliable information systems, inconsistent operating standards, insufficient cybersecurity, and difficulty in recruiting and retaining IT professionals. The state now benefits from a state-of-the-art, Tier IV data center; a consolidated help desk offering 24/7 assistance for the first time; regular refreshes of end-user computing equipment; consolidated, cloud-based email services; disaster recovery and business continuity programs with regular testing and backup-and-recovery services based in Colorado; and redundant data network services.
Dr. Nichols also assumed an advisory role in Georgia’s Service Integration Initiative, whose goal is to make it easier for state agencies to benefit from changes in the IT marketplace. The state’s new approach to purchasing IT services includes standardized processes and systems to ensure the seamless integration of services from multiple technology providers. New technology offerings can be quickly added to the state’s service portfolio.
Since being elected in 2010, Governor John Hickenlooper has helped solidify Colorado as an unprecedented leader in technology efforts. Just a few months after his election, he added the title “Secretary of Technology” to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role to lead the state’s IT economic development efforts. In this role, the CIO works with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to promote Colorado as a headquarter location.
There are three specific initiatives where Governor Hickenlooper has elevated technology for Colorado, and proven that the state is a national leader: Google Apps for Government, the Colorado Universal Application, and cybersecurity.
In 2015 Governor Hickenlooper met with experts, researchers and business leaders during a trip to Israel, a global leader in cybersecurity. There his administration solidified plans to create the National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center in Colorado. He highlighted this initiative during his State of the State address, citing Colorado as being in the perfect position “to be the national leader in one of the most important emerging industries in the world: cybersecurity intelligence.” Since then, he has received bipartisan support in the Colorado General Assembly for HB16-1453, which created a cybersecurity council at the Department of Public Safety and also authorized spending to create the National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center in Colorado Springs.
Also under the Governor’s leadership, more than 25,000 state employees were introduced to a new way to communicate and collaborate in the world of cloud computing. He challenged the state’s IT agency to make government more efficient by taking two huge steps: consolidating the state’s 15 siloed and disparate email systems, and moving the majority of state employees into one cloud computing solution -- Google Apps for Government.
A third example of technology innovation championed by the Governor is the Colorado Universal Application. Uniting programs across government entities, localities, education institutions, and nonprofit programs has historically been a challenge for state governments. Colorado used its existing Program Eligibility and Application Kit (PEAK) and worked with 11 programs from government agencies, nonprofits and educational groups. Each program set aside its individual application processes and agreed on a single point of entry for families to anonymously screen for eligibility. Families can then decide whether to submit applications to the programs for which they were deemed eligible.
Director, OCTO's Connect.DC Program, Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), District of Columbia
As the leader of Connect.DC -- Washington, D.C.’s premier digital inclusion initiative – Delano Squires launched the Mobile Tech Lab (MTL) to leverage the power of technology within the District’s inadequately served communities. The MTL directly advances the District’s digital inclusion technology policy agenda.
Mr. Squires set the “wheels in motion” to bridge the digital divide by leading the effort to convert a 48-foot bookmobile into the MTL that now hosts digital and financial literacy classes in the nation’s capital. Equipped with laptops and Wi-Fi, the wheelchair accessible MTL accommodates up to 17 people per session. This innovation brings technology training and access to under-connected communities and is consistent with District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser’s efforts to make DC a world-wide hub for technology, innovation, and inclusion.
The MTL continues to influence the possible approaches available to the District government when using technology for the public sector. Supported by OCTO’s CTO Archana Vemulapalli, Mr. Squires’ innovation makes all District online services completely resident- accessible. For example, District agency web sites (e.g., District’s Department of Human Resources, the District of Columbia Housing Authority, and the District of Columbia Public Schools portals) are available on the MTL for under-connected residents in neighborhoods with limited Internet access.
Mr. Squires’ personal leadership and advocacy for District residents is evidenced by the MTL’s distinction as the 2015 National League of Cities’ Leader in Most Promising New Plan Award. While a noteworthy accomplishment for Mr. Squires, the true “win” is measured by the growing number of residents who now have access because of the MTL. Low-income residents, returning citizens, and seniors can also receive training within their communities. These mobile programs help the District to invest in citizens who currently lack exposure to technology but have the creativity and drive to become future tech entrepreneurs and innovators.
Data findings highlight the impact that the MTL has made within the District. Broadband data collection, dating back to 2008, showed a spike in broadband adoption rates by at least 10 percentage points in each of the District’s 8 wards since 2008. The District’s overall home wireline broadband adoption rate rose from 57.9 percent in 2008 to 76 percent in 2013. During 2008, adoption rates in Wards 5, 7, and 8 -- the District wards with the highest percentage of offline residents -- were 48.2 percent, 40.4 percent, and 43.7 percent, respectively. Research during 2013 shows new Wards 5, 7, and 8 adoption rates of 65.7 percent, 55.1 percent, and 58.4 percent, respectively. Furthermore, the number of underserved areas dropped from twenty-two in 2008 to zero in 2013. The MTL success repeatedly proves its ability to push the District government’s digital inclusion efforts.
Dr. William A Hazel Jr., MD has a long track record of using technology to improve people’s lives. As an orthopedic surgeon in Northern Virginia, he was an advocate for using medical technologies to serve his patients. His impact grew exponentially when, in 2010, he accepted the position of Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Secretary Hazel has been relentlessly focused on using his position as Secretary to utilize technology to drive positive outcomes for Virginians; from ending Veterans Homelessness, to improving access to mental health services, to integrating individuals with disabilities into the community, to enabling children and families to thrive, Secretary Hazel is known for fostering collaboration across a complex network of government agencies and service providers.
At Secretary Hazel’s direction, Virginia developed the electronic Health and Human Resources (eHHR) program that promotes enterprise technology projects in Virginia enabling integrated citizen-facing services. Secretary Hazel has consistently and creatively driven re-use and innovation in the deployment of technology assets to improve the lives of Virginians.
Secretary Hazel also ensured that Virginia leveraged federal funding available through the Affordable Care Act to help optimize business processes and systems that support social service operations and successfully transition from an outdated mainframe eligibility system to a modernized, end-to-end eligibility and enrollment solution. The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), part of the Secretariat of Health and Human Resources, implemented the award winning Citizen Portal “CommonHelp,” a web-based enterprise case management system supported by innovative technologies. CommonHelp is currently being used by 800,000 citizens in the Commonwealth to pre-screen and apply for a wide range of safety net programs.
Governor Branstad is Iowa’s and the Nation’s longest serving acting Governor, serving from 1983 to 1999 and beginning again in 2011. During his tenure, Branstad has been a strong proponent of technology advancements; he has demonstrated leadership in technology innovation and supported best practices for technology management for two decades. From signing legislation in 1994 that resulted in today’s Iowa Communication Network which provided broadband internet capability to all 99 Iowa counties and state agencies to supporting the first in the nation driver license application for smart phones to utilizing social media and other digital platforms to increase transparency and engagement, Governor Branstad is a true technology innovator.
Clark has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 25 years through a number of IT leadership positions. Prior to being named the Executive Director of the Office of Administrative and Technology Services, Clark served as Technology Program Manager for kynect, Kentucky’s Health Benefit Exchange. Clark was instrumental in the success of the exchange, which has been regarded as one of the country’s most successful state-based insurance exchanges. In Clark’s current role, he is leading the expansion of the Cabinet’s Quality Health Information (QHI) initiative, which is radically changing the health profile of the state.
In his role, Kline has developed and implemented innovative programs in EIR accessibility that are allowing people with disabilities across the nation to access and use EIR. EIR accessibility means providing electronic information and services through multiple methods so that communication is not contingent on a single sense or ability. Kline led a multi-state workgroup with leaders in IT and procurement from 10 states and one federal agency to develop a simple, universal set of policy criteria. Procurement organizations and vendors can use these criteria to increase accessibility in IT products and services over the long term.
Mark Walker has been with the Ohio Department of Taxation (Tax) for 35 years. He has been serving as the CIO and Deputy Tax Commissioner for Tax since July of 2012. In this role Walker manages and is setting the strategic direction, including Tax’s alignment with the statewide IT Transformation initiative for the department’s Information Services Division. He is also the Project Director and Co-sponsor for the State Taxation Accounting and Revenue System (STARS) project that is integrating Tax’s current 27 tax administration systems into one platform.
After many years and attempts by the Tax department to modernize its tax systems, including viewing business taxpayers as a single entity, Walker took on the responsibility of rectifying and accelerating these objectives in 2012.
Initially, Walker was faced with 27 major tax systems residing on aging technologies, operating on three different platforms and technical environments, which were not integrated. Walker willingly took on the challenge to provide new technology and direction that would allow the Tax department to advance the agency’s mission to “provide quality service to Ohio taxpayers by helping them comply with their tax responsibilities and by fairly applying the tax law.”
During Walker’s leadership, he has worked diligently with his Tax business leaders, IT team and IT vendor in taking advantage of technology to enhance the agency’s mission and goals while expediting the process. This has not been easy; it has required intimate involvement of business leaders, changing the project leadership culture, teaming with vendors, and adopting the non-traditional Agile Scrum Delivery process.
Once the OH STARS (Ohio State Taxation Accounting and Revenue System) project was “Reset” in 2012, Walker assumed the project director role. He made numerous changes and successfully delivered six taxes into production over three IT releases—all of which were delivered ahead of schedule. Of those six taxes, two represent the largest and most complex business taxes. STARS is currently on target to deliver two more taxes in early October 2014 ahead of schedule, and five more by July 2015.
Through Walker’s strong leadership and willingness to adopt new technologies and development processes in Agile, he has exceeded what many thought were possible on the STARS system implementation.
As the State Chief Data Officer, Dianna Anderson champions the development, adoption, and maintenance of the enterprise-wide information architecture (EIA). She is responsible for defining the EIA organization, processes, and technology infrastructure, and for leading the integration of those capabilities within related state business and information management practices. Anderson leads and facilitates the creation of data governance principles and best practices, Master Data Management (MDM), Big Data Analytics, Data Quality, Data Integration, metadata management and Business Intelligence strategies and policies.
It’s long been recognized that individual agencies within the State of Colorado collect a massive amount of data from residents, and until recently have not had an easy way to share that data among agencies. That situation is changing, in large part, due to the efforts of Colorado’s Chief Data Officer, Dianna Anderson. Anderson believes data is the soul to information. That is what drives her to develop the platforms that provide the ability for increased data sharing between state agencies in the hopes of facilitating better, holistic decision making on programs and policies that impact Coloradans. Under Anderson’s leadership, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has developed the Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM) and the iData Insights Platform.
Over the past year, Anderson’s work was instrumental in the success of the State’s first civic app challenge—Go Code Colorado. The Secretary of State’s office designed Go Code Colorado to encourage developers to create solutions to identified business problems using data that was hosted on CIM. It was an example of how the data housed on the public side of CIM can be used to create business solutions.
Anderson has extensive information technology experience in both the public and private sectors. Through working with the federal and state government, government contractors, and private companies within different industries, she has been afforded the opportunity to wear many hats, perform multiple roles, work with multiple technologies and grow her overall data integration and business intelligence experience.
Selvi Stanislaus is the Executive Officer of the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Selvi is extraordinarily effective public official working to help the nation’s most populous state close its tax gap and get on with the critical work of service delivery for all Californians.
Selvi leads the nation’s second largest tax department with over 5,300 permanent and 2,000 seasonal and intermittent employees nationwide. Under Selvi’s leadership, FTB brings in roughly $55 billion annually—more than 65 percent of California's annual General Fund revenue. Each year, FTB processes more than 17 million personal income tax returns and more than 1 million business entity tax returns.
The Enterprise Data to Revenue (EDR) Project, the largest information technology (IT) project in FTB's history, is indicative of Selvi’s commitment to tax system modernization and using new technology to achieve service delivery innovation. EDR will provide a long-term platform for significant operational improvements in tax return processing, including automation of manual processes and data capture and centralization—all leading to substantially better taxpayer service. Positive results will include faster tax return processing and account resolution due to account consolidation in one taxpayer folder, fewer data errors, and significant new revenue—a billion dollars more annually by project end.
EDR Project technology innovations include:
To encourage valid voter registration and reduce the potential for fraud and abuse of the system, Secretary of State Scott Gessler spearheaded a focused effort to make registering to vote more accessible and voter rolls more accurate in the state of Colorado.
To make registering to vote easier and more accessible, Secretary Gessler and his office developed the first mobile-optimized voter registration site in the country. GoVoteColorado.com enabled Coloradans to register to vote through their mobile device for the 2012 election and avoid the inconvenient trip to the post office.
The initiative was a great success with over 80,000 Coloradans added to the voter registration rolls through the site from September to October of 2012. Over 229,000 total submissions and updates to existing registrations were logged between August 31st and October 9th, 2012. Approximately 20 percent of these submissions were via the mobile version of GoVoteColorado.com.
This dedication allowed many Coloradans to finish their registration ahead of the deadline. In the final hour before the deadline, 1,268 people registered or changed their registration and 86 of those submissions were in the last five minutes before close.
The mobile-optimized online voter registration system was critical in clearing the volume of over 100,000 voter registrations that at one time or another were backlogged for processing in the 2012 election.
Beyond simply serving as a voter registration tool, the site was enhanced to act as an information clearinghouse for overseas as well as domestic voters. Coloradans with a driver’s license or state ID card can now use GoVoteColorado.com to request a mail ballot, read current ballot language, get answers to frequently asked questions, and find their polling place.
Governor Dave Heineman stated “I think if you're involved in technology in our state, you know the state is trying to take a quantum leap forward. We want to be prepared for the next generation of consumers who are going to use technology at all hours of the day." During the seven years of his administration he has made good on that statement through his leadership and support to ensure Nebraska to prepare for the next generation of residents, businesses and employees. Technology has been and continues to be a key tool in the Heineman Administration.
Governor Heineman understands what technology can do for government, making the decisions that ensure that Nebraska uses the appropriate resources to deliver services to our citizens. Even during the recent economic downturn when most state governments were pulling back from investing monies into their state infrastructure, Governor Heineman supported efforts ensuring that Nebraska continued to move forward.
Some of the statistics regarding the technologies that Nebraska has deployed demonstrate the Governor’s commitment to adopting emerging technology and innovation for service delivery.
Johnson was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal as secretary for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in June 2010. In this role, Johnson has led DCFS’ reorganization and modernization efforts, designed to streamline the agency, decrease DCFS’ overall footprint, and implement new technology and systems to provide DCFS clients with more efficient and effective services.
Johnson has overseen the decrease in DCFS’ overall footprint from 157 offices around the state to a projected 80 offices by the end of 2011. This has been accomplished by consolidating offices, modernizing services, and creating a community partner network, which has increased access to services for clients.
Under Johnson’s leadership, DCFS developed an electronic time and attendance process in 2010 called Tracking of Times Services, or TOTS, to manage the state’s child care assistance program. TOTS utilizes a finger imaging device, making Louisiana the first state in the nation to use a biometric finger scan, which measures physical characteristics of the parent’s finger and converts them into an identifying numeric code, to check the child into and out of care. With this new program, DCFS not only improved the safety of the children in the program and provided staff with more accurate, realtime data concerning a child’s attendance, but also resulted in a $1.5 million dollar per month savings, partly because of the reduction of fraud and more efficient and accurate payments to child care facilities.
Johnson also led several more innovative programs. In July 2011, DCFS launched a centralized intake system manned 24 hours per day by child welfare specialists to ensure more consistent screening and decision-making of child abuse and neglect reports statewide. That same month, DCFS launched a customer service center that eliminates the need for most clients to visit an office. Instead, they call a toll-free number and receive automatic information about benefits, or can speak to a customer service representative.
In December 2011, DCFS will pilot a fully integrated, common-access front end, known as CAFÉ, designed to integrate business case management functionality across DCFS programs. CAFÉ will roll out statewide in early 2012. CAFÉ will provide web-based access for DCFS staff, customers, service providers and stakeholders via web portals and bring DCFS’ disparate legacy systems under one umbrella.
Over the last 25 years, Senator David Ige has blended his service as a Hawai‘i state legislator with his career as an engineer and information technology professional to advance the state's technology policy agenda.
Early in his public service career, he was instrumental in creating the Hawai‘i Information Network Corporation as the statewide entity responsible for the development of IT infrastructure and industry expansion. As the Chair of the Committee on Education in the House of Representatives in the early 1990s, he advocated for equal access to information technology in the statewide school system. Upon becoming Chair of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Ige similarly focused on ensuring that technology was used to advance health care programs, supporting telehealth initiatives in rural communities, and enhanced wireless 911 services throughout the state.
Most recently, Senator Ige has served as the champion for expanded use of information technology within the Hawai‘i State Senate and the legislative branch of government. In 2007, when Hawai‘i Senate President Colleen Hanabusa announced the "Paperless Initiative" as part of the Senate's sustainability platform, she named Senator Ige as the Senate's Technology Leader, a first in state legislative history. In this position, Senator Ige served a key role as the Senate's technology ambassador, working with Senators, staff, and the general public to promote technology expansion within the legislative process.
Additional information on the Hawaii Paperless Senate Initiative:
As Vice President of the Geospatial Training and Application Center at Alabama’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Chris Johnson was one of the nation’s first promoters of visualization technology. She developed and implemented the concept for a common operating map now known as Virtual Alabama, which provides situational awareness to such diverse users as first responders, emergency managers, municipal leaders, environmental agencies, military staff, transportation officials, utilities workers, economic developers, and agricultural officials. This system currently enables more than 6,500 government officials in every Alabama county, encompassing 1,450 various agencies, to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
Ms. Johnson’s tireless leadership as program manager—from the initial operating stage in 2006, to that of program sustainment, to future development—is the key factor in the Virtual Alabama success story. From the initial discussions, she developed a business model that empowers each government agency to control the use and release of its data. She successfully worked to build trust with local and state leaders and to foster a collaborative environment. As a result, government officials are now sharing imagery data that is conservatively valued in excess of $40 million.
Virtual Alabama has become known as a national best practice in the geospatial community and proved instrumental this year when Alabama was hit by two EF3-scale tornadoes as well as the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.
However, Ms. Johnson’s contributions to the technology field are not limited to her leadership with Virtual Alabama. She also led the installation of the Alabama’s Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) Project. She was nominated by her peers to be chairperson of the Alabama GIS Advisory Committee and, in that capacity, has worked to build a consortium of stakeholders who will collaborate at federal, state, and local government levels to acquire remote sensing data through a unified aerial photography plan. Ms. Johnson also authored the Alabama State Fly Plan, which provides a logical course for acquiring imagery data for the entire state, eliminating duplication of efforts and saving money through economies of scale.
“I can think of no one who deserves this recognition more. Chris Johnson is truly a great asset for this organization and for all the people of Alabama. She is a visionary leader and a practical manager who possesses impeccable ethics, excellent communication skills, and technical capability. She develops user-friendly solutions to complex challenges. Chris exemplifies all the qualities that define an innovator and that define the best of this state’s and nation’s public servants.”
Larry Capps, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Space & Rocket Center
“We're proud of the success Virtual Alabama has achieved. Chris Johnson's leadership, determination, and ability to earn the trust of diverse local agencies played a key role in that success. As Virtual Alabama Program Manager, Chris understood the importance of using state imagery and infrastructure data to create a robust program that would provide cutting-edge assistance to agencies across the state.”
Jack Doane, Director, Information Services Division, Department of Finance, State of Alabama
As Director of Michigan’s Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships, Eric Swanson has used innovative technology to infuse an entrepreneurial spirit within the organization and to drive shared services. Launched in 2008, the center delivers technology solutions and supplies innovative support to all of Michigan’s state government, providing leaders and subject-matter experts to develop solutions and generate partnerships across state government and beyond.
Mr. Swanson, who was recently named the state’s Chief Data Officer, played a critical role in establishing an enterprise-level information management approach, coordinating and consolidating business intelligence, data transport, query reporting and related tools as well as addressing quality assurance. As a result of his leadership, information is managed as an asset and delivered as part of a business service.
Additionally, Mr. Swanson integrated the state’s Geographic Information Systems, advancing them to the forefront of IT initiatives for influencing public policy. He has used GIS to forge new partnerships and shared services, drive data utilization and enable data-driven decisions.
As coordinator of Michigan’s Economic Recovery Act for information technology-related projects, Mr. Swanson leads the state’s efforts to obtain American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for a statewide broadband superhighway. His nonpartisan nature in supporting the Michigan Legislature is widely acknowledged and respected. He directed the 1990, 2000 and 2010 redistricting data projects.
“Eric is an innovator who is helping us leverage technology to make state services less costly and easier for people to access. He’s a creative problem solver, someone who can stretch traditional thinking and devise new ways of getting things done.”
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, State of Michigan
“Eric has been an innovative leader within our department and across state government for years. As the Director of the Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships, he has taken that innovation across traditional boundaries by working closely with local governments, forging shared solutions and services with local partners that bring greater efficiency for taxpayers across Michigan. I know I speak for his many friends and colleagues in government when I say that this recognition is truly deserved.”
Ken Theis, Chief Information Officer, State of Michigan