Minneapolis, MN., Wednesday, October 11, 2023 —The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) presented the State Technology Innovator Award to three deserving public servants during the NASCIO 2023 Annual Conference. The NASCIO State Technology Innovator Award honors outstanding state government employees who have made contributions to advance state technology policy through the promotion of best practices, adoption of new technologies and advancements in service delivery. Nominations were gathered from NASCIO members and selected by the NASCIO Executive Committee.
The following are the recipients of the NASCIO 2023 State Technology Innovator Award:
Chief Operating Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT) – State of New Jersey
Nominated by: Christopher Rein, Chief Technology Officer, State of NJ
In the State of New Jersey, Roger has implemented strong operational standards; increased use of effective metrics, data and analytics; and overseen the creation of operational dashboards. As New Jersey shifts to a strong focus on both cloud adoption and low code / no code platforms, Roger has led the charge, with an unprecedented thirteen state agencies migrated and trained. Roger has inspired and mobilized the OIT team and driven positive change.
In his nomination, New Jersey CTO (CIO) Chris Rein wrote, “Roger’s unparalleled balance of visionary thinking with operational pragmatism have dramatically improved, and created an actual shift within, the way we deliver services to our agency customers and the residents of our state. I have witnessed Roger’s remarkable contributions and unwavering commitment to driving improvements, innovation and the advancement of our state’s strategy and technological landscape.”
Chief Deputy State Chief Information Officer and Chief Services Officer, N.C. Department of Information Technology
Nominated by: Anne Johnson, Communications Specialist, N.C. Department of Information Technology
Susan leads the Internal Operations Division, a 350-person team that provides enterprise application and infrastructure services to 375 state agencies, local governments and educational institutions in North Carolina. Susan has led a transformation of the division in how the staff works and delivers services. She positioned her team to be more focused on architecture, strategy and governance by reorganizing the division, defining and reassigning roles, recruiting talent for positions better aligned with customer needs and initiating enhanced, transparent communication with staff and customers.
As NCDIT expanded its services portfolio for a growing number of public-sector customers, Susan structured her division to empower staff to envision and implement better ways of serving customers. She also led efforts to expand and enhance communication among the more than twenty agency CIOs, enabling more efficient, timely conversations about IT challenges and successes among public-sector IT leaders in North Carolina. Susan has aligned NCDIT to support North Carolina’s statewide IT strategic plan and its goals to transform service delivery and promote an inclusive, diverse workforce.
Chief Information Technology Architect, Kansas Office of Information Technology Services
Nominated by: Allie Denning, Director, Public Affairs, Kansas Office of Information Technology Services
In the State of Kansas, Alex is pursuing a platforming approach to provide government services to enhance the customer experience. He launched an IT Job Standardization project to standardize IT job titles and descriptions which has led to an increase in the retention of IT workers and created a career path that spans across the executive branch. Alex is also spearheading an enterprise licensing platform that will modernize agencies’ credentialing systems and played a critical role in securing federal dollars for this project. Alex is also working with the internal team to implement identity and access management and also worked to help secure federal funding for this project.
Alex also created a data architecture that will allow common data sets to be used across different channels and wrote a generative AI policy for the state which sets acceptable use and protects privacy and intellectual property rights. Knowing that generative AI continues to evolve at a rapid pace and that the full extent of its potential is still unknown, Alex wrote the policy so that it can evolve with the technology. While it is currently an internal policy for the Kansas Office of Information Technology Services, the goal is for the policy to be adopted as a policy for the state’s executive branch agencies. The policy went into effect in the summer of 2023.
Deputy Executive Director
National Association of State Chief Information Officers