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STATE PROFILES   |   District of Columbia

Tegene Baharu
Acting Chief Technology Officer
Office of the Chief Technology Officer

(202) 727-7349

Year Appointed: 2015


Tegene is an accomplished technologist and visionary thought leader who has taken the technology infrastructure in Washington DC’s government and has made it private sector savvy. From leading teams developing and managing critical enterprise applications to building an infrastructure-based shared services model crossing barriers into private sector and Federal agencies, Tegene has managed full- lifecycle IT functions and tremendous programs and teams for the District.

The recipient of many prestigious awards to include the Community Network of the year from NATOA and Top 10 Digital Cities, to the White House’s coveted Champions of Change, Tegene’s vision has pioneered high profile projects like DC-CAN. The Open accessibility wide broad network has made broadband affordable to anchor Institutions and residents alike. This project put the District on the map as the first 100 GB city in the US.

When Tegene joined the ranks of OCTO he brought 10 years of private sector engineering expertise. Tegene worked as a senior engineer for George Washington University and Winstar Communications, as an architect, building their entire Information Communications and Technology Infrastructure across 48 states. Tegene’s service to the District began in 2001, where he made a commitment to pubic safety through technology following 9/11, later becoming the lead for the original team of engineers who built DC-Net.

Tegene joined OCTO as a Sr. Network Engineer, eventually becoming a Chief Architect for DC-Net and transitioning into a Logical Engineering Manager, later taking on the Directorship of DC-Net, the District’s own secure, high-speed municipal broadband network for public safety, government and community anchor institutions. For the last four years, Tegene has served in Deputy CTO capacities with oversight of Infrastructure Services, Citywide IT Security Operations, Telecom Governance, and DC-Net. Tegene’s operations serve 90+ District agencies and several Federal Entities leveraging the technology shared services model.

Tegene is well positioned to lead technology for the District and brings an intricate balance of innovation, security, technical expertise, data-driven problem solving and a tenacious results-driven approach. Furthermore, Tegene is passionate about making technology work for the City, its residents, businesses and communities. Tegene’s commitment to the Mayor, Council, District agencies and community at large is to wield OCTO as a catalyst, expanding technology’s pivotal role and enabling the Mayor’s Fresh Start objectives for the District. Furthermore, Tegene is a change agent and will inaugurate new ways for OCTO to undergird the administration’s Fresh Start Goals for Schools, Homes and Communities.

Tegene serves as an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) subject matter expert (SME) to the District, several Think Tanks, and International Higher Learning Institutions and the World Bank, where he has served as an engineer with projects supporting developing countries. A dynamic speaker and lecturer in his own right, Tegene has led several critical projects delivering regulatory expertise and ICT architecture work in the areas of ICT and Telecommunications. Tegene serves as a pioneer and critical contributor to many global and national initiatives and organizations to include GENI (NSF), FirstNet (NTIA), OMB and US Ignite to name a few.

An engineer by trade, Tegene’s journey as a thought-leader was paved with his ability to consume, architect, and deliver technical projects. His engineering background gives him tremendous credibility with his teams and stakeholders. Tegene is passionate about diversity and is a very hands-on technology leader.

Tegene earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences from the University of Maryland.

Other Information

CIO Statute: § 1-1401 through § 1-1403 - Title 1 Chapter 14 Establishment of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Purpose, Functions Assigned to the Office


Shared Ideas Checklist: CLC Thoughts on Leveraging IT in a Tough Economy National Information Exchange Model Member of U.S. DOJ's Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative Global Advisory Committee