NASCIO Technology Champion Award Honors New York’s Rajiv Rao

Lexington, Ky., Monday, May 2, 2022 — The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has awarded Rajiv Rao, the Chief Technology Officer and Deputy CIO for New York State, with the association’s 2022 Technology Champion Award. Rao’s nomination for this award describes him as someone who, “is known for his unparalleled work ethic that knows no bounds when it comes to presenting new ideas and implementing new approaches to serve at scale.”

In 2021, Rao was one of the core designers of New York State’s Excelsior Vaccine Validation Pass, a virtual credential New York State residents can receive for submitting COVID-19 vaccination status or current covid negative test result. Under Rao’s leadership, his team deployed virtual agents as a part of New York State’s AI-assisted call center in just four weeks. The call center was instrumental in addressing New Yorkers’ questions and providing access to critical information around the clock and in multiple languages. It also helped to ensure that the CIO staff could address a significant volume of calls without getting overwhelmed.

NASCIO created the Technology Champion Award in 2003 to recognize outstanding individual contributions to the field of information technology in the public sector. Recipients further NASCIO’s vision of a government in which the public is fully served through the efficient and effective use of technology policy.

Learn more about the NASCIO Technology Champion award and prior recipients at

NASCIO Contact

Meredith Ward
Director of Policy and Research
National Association of State Chief Information Officers
[email protected]